Browse Tag

Black Owned Business

1 min read

Black Owned Businesses in Paris You Should Know

We’re back at it with another guide to shopping Black in the Diaspora. This time, we’re highlighting Black owned businesses in Paris.  Let’s show some love to our brothers and sisters in the “City of Light”.

Black Owned Businesses in Paris

Café Dapper by Chef Loïc Dablé  is located a stone’s throw from Champs Elysées. The restaurant Café Dapper Loïc Dablé is set in Dapper Museum, a place dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and its diasporas. black owned businesses in paris


Natasha Baco

black owned businesses in paris

Sakina M’sa

black owned businesses in paris

Adama Paris

black owned businesses in paris


black owned businesses in paris


black owned businesses in parisHOME DECOR

Myriam Maxo tells a story through fabrics with abstract patterns and wax that provide a touch of fantasy with contemporary design.

black owned businesses in paris


Visiter L’Afrique or “Visiting Africa” ​​is an interactive digital platform dedicated to tourism and culture on the African continent.


Présence Africaine is a pan-African quarterly cultural, political, and literary magazine, founded by Seneglese-born Alioune Diop in 1947.

black owned businesses in paris



Alexis Peskine is a Parisian resident who is renowned for his work on race and identity issues in France.

black owned businesses in paris


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21 mins read

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche is helping thousands Live Richer, one penny at a time.

Knowing how interested I am in most things personal finance, Shantrelle suggested that I connect with her girl, Tiffany ” The Budgetnista ” Aliche, a fellow Nigerian, whose mission is to help individuals achieve their financial goals. I was impressed by the fact that she has created a successful business that helps so many people.

I was also impressed by all of the positive press she’s been receiving recently (shout out to her publicist Dreena Whitfield). I spoke to Tiffany in depth and got an inside perspective on her backstory, road to success and a few tips that will help our readers improve their financial situation.

SHOPPE BLACK: Congratulations on all of your recent success! We wanted to introduce you to all the people in the ShoppeBlack community that want to get their financial situations in order, build successful businesses, and teach their children about the tools that create generational wealth. Please tell us a little bit about your background and how your journey started.

THE BUDGETNISTAMy father was an accountant and CFO for a non-profit organization in New Jersey.  In African households, you rely on the men to look after women in certain ways. Even though my mother made more money, my father was the organizer who took care of the family finances. Honestly, it was a blessing that we did not have any brothers because I would not have learned a lot of the lessons that he would have traditionally saved for a son, if he had one.


SHOPPE BLACK: What money lessons did you learn from your parents?

THE BUDGETNISTA: My parents had different teaching styles. My dad was more strategic about our financial education while my mom was more hands-on. She would take my siblings and I shopping, and like a true Nigerian, she haggled and negotiated prices at department stores.

We would be at a grocery store and my mother would be negotiating like it was a marketplace! I did not know that people didn’t do that. I just figured, okay this is how you buy groceries; this is how you get the best price. This was everyday life and how I began to learn about personal finances.

Igbo wedding

SHOPPE BLACK: I heard you mention in past interviews that people used to consider you cheap. Would you say that about yourself?

THE BUDGETNISTAIn the past, some may have thought I was cheap, but really I was just always mindful of my spending. I may have been cheap when I was younger because I did not have a balance. I saved everything, because I thought that’s what I was supposed to do. When I was younger, I was a person of extremes.

I saved everything and by time I was twenty-three or twenty-four, I had about $40,000 saved in cash on top of $10,000 to $15,000 in my retirement account.  I bought my car in cash, I never bought clothes, never went out and never traveled because I didn’t know how to manage outside of saving. I was too frugal.

It really wasn’t until my early twenties that my parents sat me down and said that they were glad that I had learned how to save, but it’s ok to spend also.  Being a person of extremes, I then began to enjoy my money too much and got into over $30,000 of credit card debt. I spent everything and then lost everything. Now, at 36, I have a nice balance – setting money aside and spending.


SHOPPE BLACK: Children often learn their money habits from their parents. What are some good tips for parents to pass on early to their children?

THE BUDGETNISTA: From the beginning you have to let children know that there are three main categories when it comes to money. Money for spending, saving and giving. I tell parents to start kids off at three or four.  At that age, language for a child changes from “can you give me…?” to “can you buy me…?”

That means a child has already made the connection between money and things.  So, now that they understand there’s an exchange, you have to teach them the best way to make that exchange possible. For example, when I go to Staples, my boyfriend’s daughter who loves Staples would ask me to buy her stuff and I would say no.

We eventually created a chore list on a free website called Choremonster where she can earn money. So now when we go and I ask her what her budget is, she knows that she has to pull from her spending bucket, not the savings or giving bucket. She can also decide how much. Now, she feels in control because she decides what she’s gonna do. It teaches them so many lessons including self control and math.

SHOPPE BLACK: That’s awesome. My fifteen-year old son is really good when it comes to managing money. Your last anecdote reminds me of the story about when you went to Target with your boyfriend’s daughter and she walked in and grabbed a toy and you were like “Ummm, what did I miss? Did she get a great report card or something? Why is she getting a toy?” That is so Nigerian, by the way.

THE BUDGETNISTA: Right! I couldn’t understand it and I wasn’t even trying to be funny. First, it was like “Oh, Tiffany is so strict!” At nine-years old, it’s easy to feed her appetite for “stuff.”  But what happens when she’s sixteen and the things she wants are three to four hundred dollars? And you going to tell her no and then she’s upset? Her being upset won’t be her fault because you have trained her to expect something for nothing.

We were at the store earlier today and she wanted a snack and she didn’t have any money. So, I said okay, I will front you some money and she was looking like “Hmmm this snack is $2 this is other one is $4”. She would never have had those conversations before. Funny enough, kids don’t mind. What’s normal in your house is normal to them. So the sooner you make it the new normal, the better.


SHOPPE BLACK: Clearly your expertise is highly valued. Your books have a lot to do with that. Tell us about them.

THE BUDGETNISTAI have three books. The One Week Budget, my first book, is an Amazon #1 bestseller. It really just teaches people how to create and automate their own money management system. I literally say, take a pen and pencil to write things down to having an automated financial system for yourself.

I wrote it because I knew so many people had no idea. And because I used to be a preschool teacher, I can break it down so that a three or four-year old can understand it. That’s what I did and that’s why the book has done so well.


I also have two Live Richer Challenge books. The first one started in January 2015. My goal was to have 10,000 women master their money collectively. I thought, what if I take what I do and make it a virtual challenge where women sign up and once they sign up, the same day, we all get the same email telling us what to do? Open up a bank account. The next day, put some money in it… just a step by step guide?

We did so well that we got 20,000 women, in 50 states, 65 countries. We saved $4 million dollars and paid off a half million dollars worth of debt. Then I said I want to do it again, so here we are, at the end of the second Live Richer Challenge.

This one is the savings edition and we have 60,000 women in 80 different countries in all 50 states and we are collectively saving together. I cannot wait to see how much we end up saving in comparison to last year! It’s just a movement of women, especially women of color.

The Budgetnista

SHOPPE BLACK: Is your Live Richer Challenge only for women?

THE BUDGETNISTA: Men can definitely join. I always tell people, I don’t turn anyone away but my intention was to specifically speak to women of color because we are at least likely to be approached by financial professionals. Even now with this huge movement that I have, I reached out to a large financial institution for sponsorship.

If this was any other group they would jump on it, but once they realized it was women of color, they were skeptical. 60,000 women and you’re not interested in sponsoring??? It’s only because I’m talking about money, instead of giving away weaves and shoes or talking about hair and nails.

They think women of color aren’t interested or don’t have the wealth to support their products or services. And they are wrong. It’s unfortunate but they will learn.

Live Richer Challenge

SHOPPE BLACK: That says a lot about these brands too. Anyone who is aware of consumer trends knows that Black women are among the most educated and savvy consumers out there and that’s the demographic you want to target if you want to make money.

THE BUDGETNISTA: Exactly, it’s like when people didn’t believe that digital music would be a thing. Now Apple, a computer company, is the biggest music seller in the world. You can be foolish and be Sam Goody or Tower Records and think “Oh no, no one’s going to want digital music” but now kids are like “Tower records? What’s that?”  You can either be ahead of the trend or you can be left behind. Some of these companies will be obsolete and I’m okay with that.

SHOPPE BLACK: What impressed me about the 2015 challenge was how many lives you impacted. I heard that one lady thanked you because for the first time in her adult life, she is now paying her bills on time. What are some examples of how your work has impacted others?

THE BUDGETNISTA: One story that was touching was a homeless woman who took the challenge. After a year she was able to purchase her first home.  That was incredible! I’ve had women who are in abusive relationships who told me that they were able to save money and finally leave.

Financial abuse is one of the ways that women suffer in relationships.  By [their partners] withholding money, they have no choice to stay because they have kids and they feel trapped. Money is just a medium that I’m using to make the world better.

SHOPPE BLACK: Even though I’m not a woman, I’m going to be doing the challenge along with Shantrelle.

THE BUDGETNISTA: (laughs) Yes! Of course do it!  I always tell people to do it along with their partner, their man, their husband etc.


SHOPPE BLACK: Teamwork makes the dream work, right?

THE BUDGETNISTA: For sure, especially if you are going to grow a lot together you both have to be on the same page financially. That is critical. Money is the number one cause of divorce. Everybody is different.  Some people are spenders, some people savers. You should have clear spending and savings goals.

My boyfriend and I have different styles. You don’t have to have the same spending style or financial style. We write down the goals we want to achieve. So, sometimes we try one way and it may not be my style but if the end goal is something that we both are looking to accomplish, there are many ways to get it done.

Live Richer Challenge

SHOPPE BLACK: It’s obvious you are passionate about healthy finances and it’s obviously your calling. I think it’s beautiful when you can find something you really like to do, change the world and make money at the same time. To me, that’s the definition of social entrepreneurship. Do you consider yourself a social entrepreneur?

THE BUDGETNISTA: I definitely do consider myself a social entrepreneur. I remember when I first started “The Budgetnista”, I wanted to make it a non-profit but I’ve worked for nonprofits and I don’t want that. I want a business that maneuvers like a non-profit but pays like a profit (laughs).

SHOPPE BLACK: It makes a lot of sense, helping people and making money. Why would you want to do one or the other when you can do both? Where do you personally invest your money?

THE BUDGETNISTA: I believe that you should invest in what you understand, so I’m going back to real estate investment. But, I also invest in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. That is something that I work with my financial advisor on to decide what is best for me, but my biggest investment is something that I understand more than anyone else — my business.

People don’t realize that having a business is also an investment. People have come to me to invest. You know, put money in to get money. So yeah, that’s my biggest investment, my own business.


SHOPPE BLACK: Speaking of investing in your own business, everyone has a business card that says they’re a CEO. What advice do you have for aspiring business owners?

THE BUDGETNISTA: You can either look like a business or you can be a business. That’s a problem with a lot of up-and-coming entrepreneurs, they focus so much on looking like a business that they never get a chance to be a business and they run out of money.

I always tell people that there is a little girl down the block who is getting paid for braiding hair. She has a business. You my friend, do not. That’s what a business is: a product or service that somebody wants to purchase and does purchase.

SHOPPE BLACK: So where do you see your business and brand ten years from now?

THE BUDGETNISTA:  Honestly, I see my brand becoming something like a Nike or another brand that is widely known. One thing I want to do is certify brands.

For example, if you go to a store and are trying to decide between two hairdryers and one has my logo on it saying it is “Budgetnista Certified”, you know you are getting a product of value. I am also writing a children’s book now.

SHOPPE BLACK: Lastly, what does money mean to you?

THE BUDGETNISTA: You know Africans always speak in metaphors (laughs). My father would say that money is like a hammer. You can use it to build a house but you can also use that same hammer to destroy the house. Money is the same.

It’s a tool that you can use to build up your life or you can use money to destroy your life. If you use money correctly, it makes life better, but if you use it incorrectly, it can make life miserable.  It’s merely one of the tools you can use to build a better life.


If you’re just learning about the Live Richer Challenge, no worries! You can sign up now and start getting emails immediately to start your own journey to financial freedom. Just go to

Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson 

4 mins read

Kidz Cab: The Black Owned, “Uber For Kids”

Kidz CabAireal Taylor is founder of Kidz Cab. Her company transports children ages 4-16, back and forth to school and various extracurricular activities. If you have a child, you know that these days, managing the kiddies’ schedules requires an assistant, a manager, and a junior assistant. They’re busy little people! We can barely keep up with them half of the time.

We chatted with Aireal and this is what she had to say:

Kidz Cab: The Black Owned, “Uber For Kids”

SB: Parents are usually overly safety conscious when it comes to their children. What are some of the lengths do you go to to ensure the safety of your passengers?

Aireal: Safety is definitely our number one priority at my company, highly vetting our employees is first and foremost. Our employees undergo a federal background check, identity verification, random drug and alcohol screening and more. We also use a fleet technology that tracks all of our vehicles in real-time, it also sends destination alerts to parents and tracks the drivers driving and vehicle idle time on location.

SB: Since your launch in August of this year, you have had over 200 parents register for your service. To what do you attribute this demand for your service?

Aireal: I really didn’t know that my service would take off so fast! I believe that the concept itself is what brought on demand for my service. In the busy times we live in, parents need help! I brought them a safe alternative to their transportation dilemma.
Kidz Cab
SB: You came up with the idea of Kidz Cab while doing research for a marketing assignment in college. What data did you come across that convinced you that this was a good business idea?

Aireal: Honestly, not finding a multitude of companies with the concept out there! I thought the idea was something that would be so valuable to busy parents and I was very surprised there was not much out there.

SB: If you could develop a skill overnight that would improve your life or your business, what would it be?

Aireal: A skill I’d love to develop overnight to improve my business would be graphic design. Graphic design is such a valuable skill to have, from creating your own social media templates, letter heads, business cards, websites etc. it gives you more control over your business.
Kidz Cab
SB: What has been the most gratifying part of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

Aireal: Knowing that I’ve created something that I can continue to expand on that will not only help individuals but will also be something that I can leave to my family is most gratifying.

SB: What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Aireal: My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to plan diligently. Making sure to thoughtfully plan things out before executing is so important for sustainability. A lot of times entrepreneurs are so excited to get their product or service out that they skimp a bit on planning, DON’T!

If you’re in Detroit and want to contact Kidz Cab, you can reach out to Aireal at: 248.719.4885. They’re booked for Fall 2015 so get your requests in early for 2016!

Tony Oluwatoyin Lawson

23 mins read

Planning an All Black Everything Wedding in New Orleans

At the ripe young age of 37, dreams seem to be finally coming true. After years of clicking heels, kissing plenty of frogs, and mis-identified soul mates, my Prince Charming bka British-Nigerian Howardite come King of Zamunda finally graced me with his presence. While I’ve always fantastized about my life partner being an African man fresh from the continent, my wedding dreams have only led me to one place: New Orleans. There’s no place like home and when you’re from New Orleans…there’s no place in the world like home. And with that said, nothing quite like any of our celebrations. Those who’ve been to our weddings know, just like our funerals, we tend to THROW DOWN.

So, in the spirit of this whole concept of Shopping Black, I’ve begun to wrap my brain around what would a wedding, produced with all Black vendors, look like in New Orleans. Since there has yet to be a super sexy and comprehensive site for Black businesses, (you can hold your breath, it’s coming)…the first place I started was to consider different venues of which I’m already familiar. Then I did the next best thing – googled “Black owned business” and “New Orleans” to see what else I’d find. Of course, a vast majority of the businesses I came across either didn’t have a functioning website or their site was janky as hell…but I did discover a few gems and I must say, so far, so good.

If you’re thinking of doing a destination wedding in New Orleans and you have #allblackeverything on the brain, here’s a list of places and vendors to consider for your ultimate Big Fat New Orleans Wedding. Solange, my good girlfriend in my head, I’m coming for you honey…and those shut the innanets down wedding photos you took in my hometown.

In Black Love,

– Shantrelle, the Black genius behind A.P. Shantology


Congo Square

I’ve always envisioned getting married in Congo Square. Congo Square is perhaps one of the city’s and Diaspora’s holiest sites. During enslavement, it was one of the only places, perhaps the only site in the States, where enslaved Africans could gather in large masses publicly. We drummed. We danced. We invoked. We prayed. We bought and sold wares. It was here where the Bamboula was performed in fervor. Congo Square is right outside of the French Quarter and now nestled in the aptly named Louis Armstrong Park, it’s the perfect place for an open, outdoor wedding in NOLA. Apparently, one of my cousins beat me to the punch and jumped the broom here a couple of years ago. 

McKenna Museum

As some of you may or may not be aware, after getting my M.A. in African American Studies at Temple (TUMF!), I left the East Coast and reverse migrated back home to New Orleans to help rebuild and preserve the culture and history of my city Post-Katrina. While there, I had the amazing opportunity to serve as the Director and Curator of the George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art. During my tenure, the museum hosted its first wedding and reception (of attorney David Durand another New Orleanian and HU alum). The antebellum home was built after the Civil War and purchased by Dr. Dwight McKenna, an avid art collector who founded the museum in honor of his parents. The museum has high ceilings, gorgeous hardwood floors and exposed brick throughout.  Black Bride

La Musee de F.P.C.

Dr. Dwight McKenna isn’t the only museum founder in the city. While he was busy collecting art by African-American artists, his wife, Beverly McKenna was preoccupied amassing a massive collection of artifacts about and by free people of color. Le Musee de Free People of Color is a gorgeous, stately mansion that sits on the idyllic Esplanade Avenue in the historic Faubourg Tremé. The courtyard is gorgeous. It would be a majestic  place to have a good ole time.

Shoppe Black


Hubbard Mansion

A mansion on St. Charles Avenue, the Hubbard Mansion is a beautiful place, filled with antique decorations and furniture. Consisting of six suites, it also has a formal dining room where guests are served meals. Given the fact that Black people were living in the Quarters behind the mansions owned by master enslavers and plantation owners whose mansions lined St. Charles Avenue, it’s an anomaly for a Black couple to have purchased and renovated one of these gorgeous homes. Your guests would love it!

Shoppe Black


So catering is clearly a tricky aspect of this wedding planning, at least for me. While I’m a world traveling, Diaspora fiend, I’m a VERY picky eater. I also plan on having a turn up reception where we dance from start to finish. Who has time for a boring and drawn out formal dinner? I’m a lover of our traditional cuisine but also mindful of the fact that Bae is Nigerian. Not to mention, a gang of friends from whose diets are much “cleaner” – gluten free, vegan, etc…(hey Maori girl!) which means that I need a special mix of dishes that can satisfy a variety of palettes and lifestyles. Since the wedding will probably not be your average garden variety 100 person wedding, I’ll also need to think about how much money we will be spending per head. So what I’m going for is DELICIOUS (not fancy) and cost effective.

Byrd House Catering

I came across this listing in the Tribune’s Black Business Directory. Out of all of the catering companies listed, they were the only ones with a professional website. I contacted the owner, who was very sweet! Within a week, Ma Dukes was tasting her food. I asked her how was Byrd House’s gumbo. Her reply: “Like Mama’s.” That’s good enough for me.


Rehearsal Dinner

Dookie Chases

A historic landmark, Dookie Chases has fed many a socialite and celeb. Apparently it’s one of President Obama’s favorite places to eat when he’s in town. Owned by the beloved and famous, Leah Chase, the restaurant is a family culinary heirloom. The food is typical New Orleans creole cuisine with all of the down home fixings. I’ve never been a fan of okra personally, I don’t care how many of my ancestors ate it. However, it’s still a favorite dish of many. This would be a nice place to have a rehearsal dinner, especially if your guests are coming in from up North and/or foreign lands.

Okra Gumbo. Leah Chase. A111005_FW_Icons_Jan2012


This quaint restaurant is located right on the outskirts of the French Quarter. I can’t remember how I discovered but it’s actually one of my daddy and I’s favorite spots to grab a bite. Featuring Francophone African food, it also offers a huge selection of vegetarian dishes. I’m thinking about how I can combine two different styles – New Orleans Creole Cuisine and West African Cuisine, to suit all of my guests. Of course I don’t know if I can have two caterers at the wedding (is that possible? It’s worth trying). Random cultural fact: the first wave of  enslaved Africans who were brought to Louisiana came from the Senegambia region of Africa’s west coast. Ever wondered why jambalaya tasted so familiar? Cause it is. It’s a direct descendent of Jollof rice. My inlaws make fun of me for preferring mild Jollof over spicy, but hey, it’s not my fault! Blame it on the acid reflux I developed after eating the spiciest jerk chicken in my life as a student at Howard. But I digress! This would be the perfect place for an informal rehearsal dinner if you have a small bridal party, or simply a place to direct your guests during their stay in the city.


Lil Dizzy’s Cafe

Lil Dizzy’s is probably NOLA’s version of Cheers, where everybody knows your name. It’s a neighborhood staple. Any and everyone eats there from politicians, musicians and New Orleans’ who’s who, especially in the middle of the day. It’s a very casual environment with good traditional New Orleans food. This is a down home kind of place that would be cool for a morning after brunch or a place.

Lil Dizzy's

Coco Hut

If you’re on the go the weekend of and need to grab a QUICK bite, you HAVE to stop at Coco Hut. Don’t go if you’re a true Jamaican/Caribbean foodie. Go if you just like yummy and healthy food. Its owner, Pam, is the absolute greatest! I stop by at least once every time I go home. Especially because my hairdresser is two doors down. It’s one of several Black-owned businesses that occupy the economic corridor of Bayou Road (the landlord of these businesses are also Black-owned). 


Snug Harbor

Snug Harbor is one of my favorite go to places when it comes to me taking out of town friends somewhere to eat. I namely go there because it’s a more upscale version of the best hamburger place in the world – Port of Call. Historically they were owned by the same people and then I believe at some point, the owners split up. That doesn’t matter…the burger and baked potato is my FAVORITE. There’s also a selection of seafood dishes. Upstairs there’s a bistro where you can catch some of the best live music in the city. I had no idea that they were Black owned so shout out to I Don’t Do Clubs for putting me on.



I didn’t see a lot of florists on The New Orleans Black Book, there were only two. So I can’t PROMISE that I’ll use either one, simply based on their photos (again people, this is why websites are EVERYTHING in this day and age for businesses, Black or otherwise). However, I’m willing to give them a try. Again, I’m a HUGE flower person. My Grandma Gladys Ibaye always said, “give me my flowers while I’m alive, not when I’m dead and gone.” My mama adopted that creed and passed it down to me and my brothers. I buy flowers for myself (and my ancestors) weekly so I most definitely want my floral arrangements to be kick a**.

Mona’s Accents Florist and Gift Basket Company

Mona’s Accents definitely look like they have the capacity to provide what I’m looking for (but I can’t tell for sure). Their website offers a variety of different exotic floral arrangements which is a plus for me.

Black owned florist

LaMonette Flowers and Gifts

If you’re into roses and lilies, this looks like your place (at least based on what’s on the site). I’d be interested in knowing whether or not they offer different arrangements outside of your basic go to flowers and aesthetics.


Cake and Desserts

Adrian’s Bakery

Based on their site (which passes our website test of aesthetics), I can’t tell whether or not they do wedding cakes. They do look like they specialize in a host of other sweets that would be great for a dessert table.


Buttermilk Drop Cafe

What came first, the buttermilk drop or the donut hole? I’m not sure but buttermilk drops are a New Orleans delicacy and Buttermilk Drop Cafe specializes in them. These would be a great addition for a post-rehearsal dinner treat. Or even could be used as a special edible welcome gift for out-of-town guests.


Royal Cakery

The website could uses a little work but this is the first bakery that I came across in NOLA that actually specializes in wedding cakes. The photographs of the cakes themselves aren’t necessarily the greatest but the cakes do look divine! I’m not really a big cake fan, in fact, I skip the cake at most weddings and events. If I do decide to go with the cake versus the dessert table option, I’ll probably give them a try. Mama, can you check them out? Please and thank you.

Black owned bakery

Tee Eva Praline’s

More than likely, I’ll have one of my aunts make my pecan candy because I’m the weirdo who actually prefer it without pecans. However, if you want to treat your guests (pun intended) to some traditional pralines (pronounced prah-leens), check out Tee Eva’s Praline’s.


Brass Bands

Ain’t no party like a NOLA party cause a NOLA party won’t stop! We rock, we roll, that ____ (insert ward here) got control! Buck jump time! So yeah um, did I mention that I was from New Orleans? In my opinion, music is EVERYTHING at a wedding. If the music is whack then um…no. Despite the fact that a “New Orleans” cultural tradition – second lining – has been co-opted by white brides and their families, it’s still ours. Second Lines are a BLACK, a very African tradition, rooted in our jazz funerals that can be traced back to funerary rites in Mali and other parts of West Africa. Second lining at weddings is more than just doing a side to side two step and pumping an umbrella up and down, it’s about that foot work, and getting DOWN. So, I’m keeping this in the forefront of my mind as I select a dress because my wedding won’t be a wedding without some footwork involved. I won’t go through a description of each local brass band here because there are zillions. I’ll just recommend three –  my favorite band since childhood, a group I’ve grown to love as an adult and group of younger cats that are making a name for themselves. Enjoy and don’t hurt nobody! If need be, get someone local to show your bridal party the proper art of second lining. Trust me, I plan to.

Rebirth Brass Band

The Soul Rebels

To Be Continued


Abdul Aziz

My homeboy Aziz is really a photojournalist, so he actually could do both – portraits and those buck jump time shots. Check out his work. Since he’ll be a guest, I’m not sure I’ll put him on photography patrol.

Black Photographer

L. Kasimu Harris

Another NOLA socialite, homeboy and dandy, Kasimu’s portraits are attracting a lot of buzz both in and outside of New Orleans. He’d be great to get photograph those wedding portraits and group shots. His shoot with former New Orleans Saints turned Philadelphia Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins and his wife (oo-opp!) are simply stunning, and also featured in The Dandy Lion Project.

3/19/2015 Wild Magnolia on St. Joseph Night

Hair Dresser

Beauty on de Bayou

Apparently since leaving New Orleans for the second time in 2009, NOLA has opened a few new natural hair salons. I believe one is even on the West Bank. Well until I can actually experience any of the new shops, I’d strong suggest going to get your wig did (especially if it’s natural) at Beauty on de Bayou. Dwana Makeba, a brilliant entrepreneur and maverick, has been here for years. She takes care of her clients, even when they’re away.

Beauty on de Bayou


William + James

I was about to press “publish” on this post and almost forgot…to shamelessly plug myself. Approximately one year ago, I launched William + James, a Haberdashery for the Smart Man. Named after W.E.B. Du Bois and James Baldwin, it features limited edition, custom bespoke bow ties. I’ve already outfitted two weddings and counting. For two collections straight, our ties have SOLD OUT. Need some fresh neckwear, holla at me! XO, The Haberdasheress

Bow Tie

Wedding Coordinator

Last but not least…the most important aspect of putting together a wedding – the Coordinator. So my mama has been meeting with different people but um, the court is still out. My cousin just got married last year and apparently had a not so pleasant experience with her planner. So, basically, if you know of any DOPE and PROFESSIONAL (not saying that we aren’t) wedding coordinators based in my hometown, holla at your girl.



Clearly it’s time for someone to do a Black Bridal book, one that doesn’t just focus on the African-American bride but the African Diasporan bride (Soror Harriet Cole’s last wedding book was over a decade ago). We’re a lot more conscious and Pan-African nowadays, thanks to how many of us are traveling abroad and connecting globally with like minded sisters and brothers via the innanets. I have no desire to write a book about the modern Black bride but someone DEFINITELY should.

Jumping the Broom: The African-American Wedding Planner

Vows: The African-American Couples’ Guide to Designing a Sacred Ceremony

African-American Wedding Readings

Websites (for a list of NOLA restaurants and bars)

Featured Brides in this post: My cousins and homegirl in order of appearance – Mrs. Rashida Poole, Mrs. Jamila Pecou, and Mrs. Danielle Scott-Johnson