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Black and Sexy TV

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4 Smart & Easy Ways to Begin your Shoppe Black Journey!

One of the many thought provoking songs on Stevie Wonder’s 1976 double album Songs in the Key of Life is “Black Man”. The first line is “First man to die for the flag we now hold high (Crispus Attucks) was a Black man.”

Shoppe Black

The lyrics go on to tell of the many unnoticed or underappreciated contributions people of color have made to America. Then there’s this striking, still relevant passage:

“We pledge allegiance all our lives to the magic colors red, blue, and white, but we all must be given the liberty that we defend. For with justice not for all men history will repeat again. It’s time we learned this world was made for all men.”

Unfortunately, many people would agree that Stevie’s impassioned declaration still does not reflect reality in America 40 years later. With modern technology and social media we continue bear witness to the brutal racism and racialized violence that still exists at an unfathomable level in America.

Just as Black Lives Matter, Black (earned) dollars matter. We must use our money to further prove just how much Black Lives Matter by supporting Black owned businesses. By doing this, we will demonstrate to non-Black owned businesses that our spending (or the absence thereof) is hugely significant. This is a call to action!

 

Ways to Begin your Shoppe Black Journey

Shopping Black is more than buying African print fashion, jewelry, and art, although buying those things is meaningful too. The goal of this article is to encourage you to dig deep and see where you can send significant amounts of money to Black owned businesses. Below are four steps to shopping Black and making a difference.

  1. Understand what your spending habits are. If you already have a budget you follow, this should be easy to do. Otherwise, jot down a list of all the categories of your spending. Then, next to each category, list the companies and professionals your money typically goes to each month. Here is a sample:
Category Provider
Savings
  • State Credit Union
  • Big Bank
  • Employment Credit Union
Retirement/Investments Big Bank
Mortgage/Rent Big Bank
Utilities Big Energy
Groceries
  • Local Black Farmers
  • Latino Grocers
  • National Grocer
Health/Fitness
  • Black Personal Trainer
  • Black Zumba Instructor
  • National Health Insurance company
Car maintenance/gas
  • Big Gas
  • Chain Oil Change Co.
  • Big Tire Store
Loans/Credit Cards
  • Aunt Sallie Mae/Uncle Navient
  • Big Bank
Professional Services
  • Local Tax Guy
  • Black Attorney
  • Local Therapist(s)
  • Black Printer
  • Local Stylist
Clothing/Beauty
  • Black Natural Hair Care Shoppe
  • Local Black Fashion Designers
  • National clothing stores
Entertainment
  • Afro-Brazilian Drumming Group
  • Local bars
  • Black Made Wine and Spirits
  • BlackandSexyTV
  • KweliTV (Black)
  • Virp (Black)
Charity
  • Family Charity supporting Black kids going to college and traveling abroad
  • Various Crowdfunding Campaigns for Black artists and initiatives

 

Having an understanding of what you spend your money on and where you spend it is a great first step to shopping Black because you can then look for Black owned options that fit your specific needs and desires.

Simply committing to not buying products by big, multinational companies or not shopping at big box stores does not get you closer to spending your money with Black businesses.

Bonus: If you are someone who does not budget every month, completing this step puts you in a position to do so!

 

  1. Research Black Owned Businesses

Next, and this will take some patience and effort, you should research Black owned businesses and professionals that can fulfill your needs and wants. Refinancing your mortgage with a Black bank may not be a feasible or realistic short-term goal. However, who are the professionals within those companies that currently loan or hold your money?

You’re going to want to build relationships with them. This goes for insurance agents, realtors, mortgage brokers, etc. With respect to the entertainment category, consider “BlackandSexyTV and Chill” instead of “Netflix and Chill.”

Shoppe Black

(Sidenote: the author is #TeamMilan! The actress is her BFF and linesister). If you want a simple place to start researching Black owned business, start at your plate. Look for local, Black farmers as a source for your food.

 

  1. Build Your Shopping Black Team

Shoppe Black

Outside of gift and clothing products, it can be challenging to find Black business, especially if you do not live in a diverse area. Therefore, you should build a Shoppe Black team. Your team can be made up of friends and family, or folks from your place of worship. It can be your sorority sisters or fraternity brothers.

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Any logical connection to similarly interested people will work. If you have difficulty finding people in your personal network seek out like-minded people in groups such as Girltrek, Outdoor Afro, and on platforms such as MeetUp.com.

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And don’t think your team of people who are shopping Black have to only be Black. While the political statement of Blacks demonstrating the tremendous monetary power we have in the US is very critical, it is also important that Black businesses thrive and that requires everyone’s support.

4 . Spend, Document, and Share

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Spending your Black dollars after you followed the first three steps should be easy. You should also document what you do and share your successes and learning moments with your network and the world. The Shoppe Black team would love help you do just that. When you share your Black business spending use the hashtag #ShoppeBlack. Also mention Shoppe Black on Twitter and Instagram (@shoppeblack).

 

Shoppe Black

 

The Bottom Line

No matter what the reach of your spending is, you can make a difference in Black spending by directing money from just one budget item to a Black business or professional. The more you direct to Black Business, the greater the impact this entire movement will have.

Shoppe Black

The author of this article recently had a “Shoppe Black Saturday” during which she endeavored to consume food and drink grown and/or sold by Black businesses. It’s a lot tougher than you think. Learn more about her experience here.

– Contributed by Mavis Gragg

Mavis Gragg is an attorney at the Gragg Law Firm, PLLC in Durham, North Carolina where she specializes in estate planning and estate administration. She is very passionate about maintaining and growing Black wealth through sound legal strategies and problem solving. When she is not being a justice girl, she can be found at an art gallery, trotting the globe, or on the dance floor.

Shoppe Black

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Love Jones vs. Love and Basketball: Black & Sexy TV hosts the G.O.A.T. Debates

So, we all know that Love Jones is the best Black Love story our generation has ever seen right? The same can be said for Coming to America vs. Boomerang. Boomerang was great but better than Coming to America? In the words of Lisa in that epic closing scene – “Nahhhhhh.” Well, some would beg to differ. That’s why, to wrap up the biggest and Blackest Black History Month in history, the incredible team at Black&Sexy.TV will be hosting the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Times) Debate on February 28, 6pm Pacific Time. That’s 9pm for us on the East Coast and about 2am/02:00 for all of you Brits. For more info go to battleofthegoats.com.

We’ll be tuning in with popcorn and mini-creme brulée cheesecakes in hand. But to get the fight jump-started a little early, Bae and I weighed in with our own little pre-debate debate.

Best 2000s Love Story

Love Jones vs. Love and Basketball

Shantrelle: Love Jones, duh!

Tony: Love & Basketball.

Best Comedy Of All Time or At Least Starring Eddie Murphy?

Coming to America vs. Boomerang

Shantrelle: Coming to America.

Tony: Coming to America.

Best 70s Musical

Car Wash vs. The Wiz

Shantrelle: While I can quote Car Wash line for line…I’d have to say The Wiz. I don’t know if this is a fair question though, cause I doubt you’ve even seen Car Wash. Have you?

Tony: I haven’t seen either one.

Shantrelle: How did I guess? Your Black American movie experience clearly starts with the 90’s…

Tony: 80’s actually. I watched Shaft in Africa. I think we actually owned that one.

Shantrelle: LMFAO. Of course y’all did.

Best Vampire Film

Blade vs. Blackula

Shantrelle: Blackula!

Tony: Blade.

Best Superhero Flick

I’m Gonna Get You Sucka vs. Pootie Tang vs. Meteor Man

Shantrelle: I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.

Tony: Ahhhhh. I’m Gonna Get You Sucka.

Kung Fu Flicks

Last Dragon vs. Black Belt Jones

Shantrelle: Last Dragon…but Black Belt Jones…Jim Kelly’s fro, come through!

Tony: Last Dragon

Best Blaxploitation

Superfly vs. Shaft

Shantrelle: Superfly!

Tony: Shaft

Best Miniseries

Roots vs. Shaka Zulu

Shantrelle: Shaaaaka! Shaaaka! Why do you think I’m marrying you? Shaka was my first television crush. LOL. Just kidding. Have you even seen Roots?

Tony: Smh. Yes, i’ve seen Roots. Shaka Zulu.

 

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BLACK LOVE IS…

black friday

Black Love is the exchange that happens when likeminded people – what we call our village – come together, spread love, resources, ideas and affirmation. Black & Sexy TV is all about that. Giving thanks for our homieloverfriends over there who are Spreading Black Love AND Money, each and every day.

“We have to live in this country and participate in it’s economic ecosystem like everyone else, but we are not helpless. You most likely work or are in business with a white owned entity. We cannot escape all association or control every dollar we make or spend. But what we can do is look at it in a holistic way by propping up black owned businesses every chance we get. Online and off. Not just on Black Friday but EVERYDAY. Just think before you spend — can this dollar go to a black owned business? Imagine if one thing we purchased everyday was from a black owned business? Just one thing! It’s powerful and will change our economic landscape and mindset if everyone made it their duty to just make that one thing a daily habit. More black business would pop up just from the demand. And it’s so simple. It’s not even that big of a stretch. Our own family at Black&Sexy is exploring the concept of buying black 365. It only makes sense, right? Start here by TAGGING your favorite black owned businesses. We got one – our friends at @shoppeblack A well curated blog promoting the unifying concept of buying black globally. Visit them at shoppeblack.com ???‪#‎blackdollarsmatter‬ ‪#‎buyblack‬ ‪#‎blackandsexytv” – Black & Sexy, November 27, 2015