Racial equity has dominated the global conversation for much of June 2020. In early June, more than 14 million Instagram users posted a black square for #BlackoutTuesday as a show of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. While there has some skepticism and confusion surrounding the purpose behind the black squares, many are urging the public towards greater action. On social media there has been some conversation around July 7th, 2020, which has been designated as Blackout Day 2020, a day of economic solidarity with the Black community. A Twitter thread from a user named MarsinCharge detailed how Blackout Day 2020 came to fruition. The origins can be traced back to Calvin Martyr who, following the killing of George Floyd, encouraged his audience to buy and support Black businesses exclusively. While the claim has been made that some celebrities have co-opted Blackout Day 2020, the ultimate purpose and mission behind the movement is one that everyone can get behind. Following Covid-19, many Black businesses have struggled to stay afloat. Black business owners also experience greater challenges when it comes to securing funding. One of the most impactful ways to dismantle institutional racism is supporting Black-owned businesses. Below is a list of 12 Black-owned businesses that deserve your support on Blackout Day 2020 and beyond.
1. Mielle Organics. Mielle Organics is a beauty and hair care company created in 2014. The company sells a wide range of products from shampoo, conditioner, detangler, hair vitamins, face serum, face masks and lotion. In addition to the website, the products are available in for purchase from Sally, Target, CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, and Walgreens.
2. OneUnited Bank. OneUnited Bank is the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S. The bank, which started 50 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts was created to “galvanize our community to share critically needed information and make financial literacy a core value of the Black community.” OneUnited Bank showcases images of Black people along their debit cards with the goal of showcasing that #BlackMoneyMatters and they serve low-to-middle income communities, and provide workshops and different community events.
3. Dope Coffee Company. Dope Coffee Company is a Black-owned, woman-owned and veteran-owned coffee e-commerce brand founded by Michael Loyd, Chel Loyd and Julius Cave. Coffee lovers around the world can find an assortment of coffee blends as well as face and body scrubs, candles, coffee syrup, and scalp and beard serum through the company’s website.
4. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC. Cee Cee’s Closet NYC is a handmade accessories company that sells distinctive pieces made in Nigeria. Creators Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo created the brand as a dedication to their parents, aunt, friends and “all women who boldly decide to pursue their passions.” On their website, customers can find colorful and uniquely patterned clothing, headwraps, face masks, jewelry, handbags and even greeting cards.
5. Zula Essentials. Zula Essentials is a CBD wellness brand that was designed and created “for women by women.” The company sells different CBD products ranging from CBD oil to vegan CBD soothing cream and vegan CBD gummies. A portion of the proceeds of each product go to support Black mental health and self-care. One word of advice: customers should mindful of which states allow CBD products.
6. Savoir Faire. Savoir Faire is fragrance company that sells scents “with bold musks of Northern Africa, sandalwood and amber as a base…top notes of tomato leaf and leather to flow freshly and smoothly, supported by a heart of labdanum and a hint of oud and orris root.” The brand was created by artist Chris Classic and the fragrances, which are gender neutral, are designed for any and everyone.
7. Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Centre. Elizabeth’s Bookshop & Writing Centre is a literacy center created to highlight marginalized voices and was founded by Rachel Elizabeth Cargle, who is a public academic, writer and lecturer. Customers can find books from their favorite authors with authors of color being amplified through the bookshop. A portion of the proceeds of each sale goes to support The Loveland Foundation, which provides mental healthcare services to Black women and girls.
8. Abbey Creek Vineyard. Abbey Creek Vineyard is a winery that gets its name from a creek that runs through the property of the Vineyard, which is located in Portland, Oregon. The wine label was started by Bertony Faustin, a first-generation Haitian-American who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and is the first Black winemaker in Oregon. Customers will find a wide range of cleverly named wines to suit their palette.
9. Seamoss the Boss. Seamoss the Boss is a health and wellness company focused on promoting an alkaline diet. The company was founded by Giovani Henry who was raised in a Jamaican and Trinidadian family. Those looking to enhance their health will be able to find a number of immunity-boosting products including sea moss gel, black seed oil, white willow bark, Jamaican fever grass and guinea hen weed.
10. The Honey Pot Company. The Honey Pot Company is a feminine care company that sells different products to promote feminine hygiene. Products include feminine hygiene washes and wipes, and herbal pads. Products are cruelty-free, biodegradable, free of artificial fragrance, chemicals, toxins and are 100% natural. A portion of the proceeds of each product go to support menstrual hygiene kits for populations of homeless and lower income individuals.
11. Kay’s Kettle Korn. Kay’s Kettle Korn is a gourmet and handmade popcorn company based in Houston, Texas created by Khadijah “Kay” Polly. Each popcorn order is made fresh and customers can choose between kettle corn and movie butter flavor. Customers can also purchase a membership subscription to have bags of popcorn shipped to them every month.
12. Beauty Bakerie. Beauty Bakerie is a long-lasting, smudge-free and cruelty-free cosmetics company whose creator is breast cancer survivor Cashmere Nicole. A portion of every purchase goes toward supporting Sugar Homes, whose mission is to provide money, clothes, and toys for orphanages around the world.