It’s that time of year again! The time when major retailers salivate as Black folk generously pump a quazillion bucks into the U.S. economy. Prepare to be bombarded with Black Friday and Holiday Season deals that are “once in a lifetime” and won’t EVER be available again….until the same time next year.
Unless you have been stranded on a deserted island with an inanimate object turned BFF the past few years you are aware of the renewed sense of community and interest in supporting Black owned businesses (BOB’s). Some of this has come in the rise of generational consciousness about the power of our wealth. Some of it prompted by the unfortunate disregard of Black lives. Whatever the reason, the underlying message is clear – Buy Black. Spend money with Black vendors. Support Black service providers. Simply put, use your money in places that could enrich the lives of yourself and your children’s children.
Thanks to this revitalized awareness, many sites have since emerged profiling black owned business’s and letting us know all the ways we can patronize them. I support this message. In fact, it prompted my better half and I to launch a start up named ShoppeBlack (no shame in my plug game). While we were over in our think tank testing out this bright idea, I came across several “Buy Black” related sites. Some were directories, others virtual markets. A few were online versions of The Black Pages circa 1975…well sort of.
For your shopping pleasure, I’ve checked out a gang of platforms and created a list of the top four Black-owned business directories and online marketplaces…just in time for Black Friday.
6 Websites that will help you “Buy Black”
OfficialBlackWallStreet.com – Like a proud father, I have watched them grow from an Instagram page, to one of the most aesthetically pleasing websites out in these here streets. The founder, Mandy Bowman is a social media strategist by profession and you can tell that she knows her stuff. The site offers a directory of over 1000 online and brick and mortar businesses located all over the country. The site is mobile friendly and If you need directions, a Google map will show you the way. If you would like to leave a review, that option is available also. OfficialBlackWallStreet.com also provides news and articles on all things BOB that are insightful and inspiring. Last but not least, there are deals and special offers available also.
WeBuyBlack.com – Howard University Alumnus Shareef Abdul-Malik is the creator of this site. (HU! YOU KNOW!) I was impressed by the variety of products available. This is a true one stop shop especially if you are looking for holiday gift ideas for adults or children. You can even find everyday essentials like toiletries and detergent. There are over 1700 sellers peddling their wares and over 2300 products listed from 9 countries. The site is also mobile friendly so you can shop right from the comfort of your place of employment while you are supposed to be working. At the time of writing, WeBuyBlack had a Kickstarter campaign to expand the site, increase site speed and security and create an app. The campaign has raised 77% of their $30k goal and has 2 more days to go so please support!
*UPDATE: WeBuyBlack.com met their campaign’s deadline and raised over 100% of their goal!
SupportBlackOwned.com – I would like to start off by giving the folks at SBO props for listing a BOB located in Alaska. They have done a good job listing businesses in many categories, all over the country. One thing that stood out to me about this site is that they provide info about distributors and wholesalers as well as retailers. That is important when you, as a business owner, non profit or other type of organization, need to buy or sell in bulk. I hope they continue to expand that section. Also, their blog has some good business related articles that are updated regularly.
Afrobella.com – This blog is the creation of Trinidadian-born writer Patrice Grell Yursik. Last year, she created a post entitled “101 Independent Black Owned Businesses to Support for Blackout Friday“. If you can look at this list and then say anything about a lack of quality options, then (insert judgemental statement here). This list is huge and it gets huger if you include suggestions from the comments section. It is for anyone looking for a black owned business related to Natural hair, Makeup, Jewelry and the like.
IDontDoClubs.com – Founder, Genese Jamilah has compiled a list of 250 black owned restaurants located in major cities such as Washington DC, NY, Atlanta and New Orleans. Not only that but she has also provided us with the I DON’T DO CLUBS Black-Owned Holiday Gift Guide 2015 which offers products in categories such as Apps, Subscription Boxes, Books, Houseware & Art as well as cosmetics and haircare products. Genese is also the brains behind the #MustLoveBeards movement that is showing love and boosting the confidence of many a bearded black (and non black) man.
InHerShoesBlog.com – Shout out to my lady for putting me on to another superb list. This one was created by beauty PR consultant, Renae Bluitt. 75 Black Women-Owned Brands to Support This Holiday Season & Beyond will introduce you to several dope products and services that would make great gifts and should definitely be patronized after the holidays as the title states. Don’t forget to check the comments section for even more suggestions!
I leave you with “Let The Dollar Circulate”. The 9th Wonder and J Dilla version.