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Black Owned Healthcare Startup Launches Platform to Treat Coronavirus Patients Remotely

With hospitals becoming overcrowded with coronavirus patients, a Black owned healthcare startup in Chicago  has developed a tech-based method to care for COVID-19 patients at home.

Chicago telehealth startup 4D Healthware announced that it launched a new COVID-19 monitoring platform, based on its original software, which allows for remote monitoring, physician and lab supported diagnosis, and at-home treatment.

Star Cunningham, Founder and CEO of 4D Healthware

By equipping patients with pulse oximeters, which measures the oxygen levels in blood, and Wi-Fi-enabled digital tablets programmed with 4D Healthware’s software, the startup can collect biometrics, like temperature, oxygenation levels and other critical stats.

black owned healthcare startup

Those metrics are then sent to 4D Heathware’s team to be evaluated. In the event a patient’s status becomes critical, 4D Healthware coordinates for the patient to visit a nearby hospital or healthcare facility.

“Healthcare is now recognizing the value of virtually caring for patients,” said Star Cunningham, the startup’s founder and CEO. “You don’t want [COVID-19 patients] to come out. What you want to do is eliminate a certain amount of foot traffic that’s coming into the healthcare system right now.”

4D Healthware says it can service up to 500,000 coronavirus patients across the U.S. Cunningham wouldn’t disclose how many patients are currently using the coronavirus platform, but said the number is increasing “exponentially each day.”

4D Healthware’s new COVID-19 platform is based on its original software, which uses health data from wearable devices, such as Fitbits or Apple Watches, to help people with chronic conditions monitor their health more effectively. Patients with COVID-19, however, need 4D’s hardware to monitor the illness as most consumer wearables cannot.

4D mainly targets Medicare patients but also accepts patients with private insurance. The startup employs 20 people, one of which is a physician, and the startup has raised more than $4 million since launching in 2012.

“We call 4D Healthware enhanced telehealth because it’s more than that,” Cunningham said. “The beauty of 4D is that long after the pandemic ends, we are a viable long-term solution for managing patients at home.”

 

Source: ChicagoInno

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Black Owned Health products brand receives investment from Magic Johnson

Naturade partners Kareem Cook and Claude Tellis, want to bring the plant-based revolution to those who need these products the most—the urban communities and food deserts that are underserved by the natural products industry. Now, Naturade is announcing the next big step in making that a reality: They have partnered with Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr. and Grant Hill—NBA superstars and businessmen who will help amplify Naturade’s message and mission.

black owned natural products

“Magic Johnson has been tracking us and watching what we’ve been doing for a few years and he decided to become a significant equity owner,” says Cook.

Explaining how this fits with the company’s goals—above and beyond the bottom line—Cook says, “There are 86 million prediabetics in the country according to the American Diabetes Association. The health supplement industry is a $13 billion industry and growing. Prediabetic numbers are growing as well. How can those two things exist at the same time—how can that paradox exist?”

The problem, Cook notes, is that companies in the natural space aren’t targeting the consumers who need the products the most. “It’s because they don’t think that people who are less mindful of health will buy their products. The goal for most companies is to make money; they want to sell to the Whole Foods of the world—they want to sell to the premium stores where they can sell a product for a high price and people will buy it. And that’s a great business model but it doesn’t solve the problem.”

Cooks shares, “I grew up in the Bronx. Why should people in my family have to get on a bus and a train to get to a Whole Foods to buy these products when they should be able to go downstairs to a local store and have the same access? We’re talking about access. Magic understands that from his own business dealings. He proved people wrong so many times before, and this is an opportunity to prove people wrong again, and to make a successful business doing it.”

Speaking about the partnership, Magic Johnson said, “I’ve followed Kareem and Claude’s journey for some time and their mission aligns well with my own passion to live a healthy lifestyle. I strongly believe in exercise and being intentional about what I eat and drink. Therefore joining Naturade was an easy decision. Together we are proving that if you offer people healthy products that taste good and can positively impact their well-being, they will make the changes necessary to improve their lives.”

Also pointing to the big picture, Cook says, “You’re spreading health and education. For instance the silent killer in our community is diabetes and that’s because it’s cultural to eat a lot of products that have sugar in them. But people don’t realize there’s sugar in things like rice and bread. So the educational component is part of this business—not only just selling products that help people get healthy and lose weight…but also educating people on why they should make changes.”

On the education front, Naturade, which has been in business since 1926 and was purchased by Cook and Tellis in 2012, has a lot happening. “We go to Expo West and all the same places everyone else goes to, but we also go to the Essence Festival, where there’s 500,000 women of color, who fit right in the middle of the community that need the products and education the most. But out of the 30 to 40 companies similar to us that are at Expo West, we’re the only ones at the Essence Festival. And it’s critical that we do that—that we not only let people see us and know that we exist, but that we also educate people on what’s happening.”

Then there’s the star power: “Magic Johnson and Grant Hill and other people will be coming on board who are able to amplify the message because they have such strong followings, and they have people look up to them and respect their decisions in the way they’re living their lives.”

These educational efforts, Cook adds, show more people that they can make a positive change by cutting sugar and adding more plants into their diet. “People are aspirational…and there are some things that they feel are too far out of reach, but this is not one of them. It’s aspirational but achievable. And we’re showing that there are people that you relate to that are doing this already.”

Source: Whole Foods Magazine

 

Related: Black Owned Nutritional Supplements Company Vows To Help Black Communities Live Healthier

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Black Sculptor creates dark skin prosthetics to boost patients’ confidence

John Amanam is a 32 year old creative sculptor and former movie special effects expert from Nigeria. His knowledge of art has helped him produce hyper-realistic prosthesis of several body parts including the ears, nose, fingers, toes, and legs.

Black Sculptor
John Amanam, founder of Immortal Cosmetic Art

He was inspired by a cousin who lost several fingers in an accident. “I was thinking of ways to help him as a sculptor and thought to myself, since I’ve sculpted human beings, why can’t I mould something that can actually be used on a human body?”

John said that after his cousin’s accident he started to feel more empathy towards others who had experienced a similar loss.

“They had this feeling of discomfort whenever they were around other people. I saw it as a challenge. If I could give back or solve this need, it would go a long way to ease that emotional trauma and loss of confidence,” he added.

black scuptor
John Amanam works on a prosthetic hand

“I just want them to feel at home and be whole, aesthetically.”

Until now, most prosthetics available in Nigeria have been white, or made from materials such as wood that also look unrealistic.

“You rarely find people with black skin prosthetics,” Amanam said. “I want this need to be met within Africa. I want to reach out to Blacks all over the world as well, by making this process accessible, at an affordable rate.” The pieces are sold for at least 40,000 naira ($111).

Black Sculptor
A patient shows his new prosthetic hand

He says although there is room for improvement, his products have been medically approved for patients who are in need of body part replacements.

“I have been to many hospitals and the product has been well received because the materials used in producing are medically approved.”

According to John, he intends to open a factory in Akwa Ibom, his home state where he intends to produce the products in large quantities for local and international export.

Tony O. Lawson


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Black Inventor Creates Underwear to help patients with Catheters and Leg Bags

Brian Mohika BSN, RN (and a United States Air Force veteran) is a nurse, inventor, and founder of CathWear, an all-in-one catheter management system built into a comfortable, high-quality unisex brief.

While working as a specialist in Interventional Radiology, Brian Mohika would hear consistent complaints from patients who had drains placed inside of their organs. These patients would complain about irritated skin from leg straps constantly sliding up and down their legs.

black inventor
Brian Mohika, CEO of CathWear

To eliminate this movement, they would overtighten their leg straps, which in turn would reduce blood flood to their leg, further complicating an already bad situation. Patients also complained about inadvertently dislodging tubes while trying to undress or go to the restroom. In many instances, this would lead to a trip back to the hospital for another placement procedure.

In addition to the myriad of medical complications associated with standard leg straps, patients complained of the daily stress associated with choosing clothing that properly conceals their leg bags. Something as simple as wearing summer clothes such as shorts or dresses is simply not an option for many patients.

One day, Brian walked into a procedure room and saw a patient who had his pants down. The patient had a bag safety-pinned to his underwear. It was at this moment when Brian was inspired to create CathWear. He went home and drew the design. He then purchased a pair of underwear, some supplies and had someone build the prototype with his guidance.

Once complete, he applied for a patent. The patent was granted on July 16, 2013.

During the lengthy process of finding the right manufacturer, CathWear was able to register with the FDA, own their own Medicare code (which allows doctors to write a script for CathWear), and register as a Certified Veteran owned company.

 

 

Tony O. Lawson


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Couples, Inc. : Joe and Karina Own “Renewed Wellness Integrative Medical Center”

Dr. Joe Taylor and Dr. Karina Sharpe-Taylor are the owners of Renewed Wellness,  where their primary focus is on chiropractic and regenerative medicine.

We caught up with them to find out how they manage being partners in business and in life.

chiropractic
Dr. Joe Taylor and Dr. Karina Sharpe-Taylor

How did you meet each other?

We met in chiropractic college in Port Orange, Florida.  We were actually in the same graduating class.

chiropractic

What influenced your decision to pursue a career as a chiropractor?

Dr. Taylor- While competing as a track and field athlete at The University of Florida I experienced chronic hamstring injuries. Our team medical doctors were only able to provide temporary relief with traditional medical treatment.

As a last resort I was sent to a chiropractor for treatment. I was amazed by his knowledge of the human body, how much fun he seemed to be having working each day and most importantly his ability to identify why I was chronically injured and offer the solution that ultimately saved my career. I fell in love with the profession and the rest is history.

chiropractic

Dr. Karina– While receiving my Masters in Business I began my research into Chiropractic. I have always had a fascination with human anatomy and how it operates.

When I discovered chiropractic, I was amazed that chiropractic is not a profession that is limited to the spine, but how the body functions. From that point on I was sold in treating the body in a holistic fashion.

When you can give the body exactly what it needs to function at its optimal potential it is amazing. Chiropractic restore optimal nerve function throughout the body in order to heal itself.

What is the most important thing to remember when your business partner is also your spouse?

We have found that the most important thing is to remember to remain lovers. Working hard towards our common business goals can easily turn the relationship into being an extension of the business. Although we are both ambitious entrepreneurs that are constantly thinking of ways to expand our brand, we find it helpful to “take the executive hats off” regularly to just enjoy one another.

In what ways do you have similar entrepreneurial traits and in what ways are you different as entrepreneurs?

Differences:

Dr. Taylor- Dr. Taylor is more of a visionary when it comes to our business. He rarely focuses on the “now” and instant gratification, but always planning what the next 5 moves should be.

Dr. Karina- Dr Karina is more of the executer when it comes to our business. She finds it extremely gratifying to focus on the “now” and is driven by taking immediate action.

Similarities:

Neither of us will ever settle for average. We are also both extremely competitive.  Our vision for exponential growth is a common theme between us.

What are your 5 year goals for the practice?

Within 14 months fully systematize our office to the level of that of a franchise. At this point begin replicating our model of delivering life changing holistic healthcare throughout the state of Florida. By year 5 opening our third location.

What advice do you have for graduates that are interested in starting their own practice?

Become obsessed with setting and achieving your goals. Shadow as many chiropractors as possible to learn what type of practice you want (it must stand out from everyone else). Continue pursuing education in your specialized field.

 

Sponsored by Renewed Wellness

4047 Okeechobee Blvd., #126
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Phone: 561-619-8160
Fax: 561-619-8162

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Black Owned Yoga Studios You Should Know

Regular yoga practice has been shown to have tremendous physical, mental and spiritual health benefits. We’ve compiled a list of Black Owned Yoga Studios for you to support. Let us know which others we should know about!

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Deeply Rooted (Atlanta, GA)

Xude Yoga (Houston, TX)

Sugar and Sage (Dallas, TX)

Embraced Yoga (Washington D.C.)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Anacostia Yogi (Washington D.C.)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Spiritual Essence Yoga (Upper Marlboro, MD )

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Pies Fitness Yoga (Alexandria, Virginia)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Eb and Flow Yoga (Chicago, IL)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Anasa Yoga (Oakland, CA)

Trap Yoga Bae (Los Angeles, CA)

Yoga Love (Oakland, CA)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Yoga with Rocky (San Francisco, CA)

Bianca Yoga Floetry (Los Angeles, CA)

Vitality Meditation (Philadelphia, PA)

Khepera Wellness (Philadelphia, PA)

Bodywork by Bre (Palm Springs, California)

Studio 34 (Philadelphia, PA)

Ase Yoga Studios (Philadelphia, PA)

Sisters of Yoga (New York, NY)

Urban Asanas (Brooklyn, NY) 

Magnolia Yoga Studio (New Orleans, LA)

The Soular Yogi (Gulfport, MS)

More & More I AM (Baton Rouge, LA)

Yoga Noir Project (Baton Rouge, LA)

Your Inner Yogi (Memphis, TN)

Any Body Yoga (Memphis, TN)

Yoganic Flow (Detroit, MI)

Heal Haus (New York, NY)

Yoga House (Houston, TX)

Black Owned Yoga Studios

Level 3 Yoga (Atlanta, GA)

Sankofa Yoga (Laurel, MD)

 

Special thanks to  Ajax Jaxon, owner of Magnolia Yoga Studio and her community of Yogi’s for helping us create this list!

-Tony O. Lawson

If you would like to add your business to this list (or another) SUBMIT HERE.


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First Black-Owned Urgent Care Center opens in Chicago

Premier Health Urgent Care, the only urgent care facility in the Southside’s Hyde Park neighborhood, and the only Black-owned urgent care possibly in the city of Chicago has opened for business.

Black-Owned Urgent Care
Pictured above from (L to R): Dr. Mike McGee; Germaine Henderson, APN; Renita White, PA-C; Jennifer Kirk, AP; Dr. Airron Richardson and Dr. Reuben Rutland. (Chicago Crusader)

With a commitment to providing affordable, convenient community care a portion of profits from the center will be donated to the Project Outreach and Prevention (POP) organization, which aims to prevent youth violence in surrounding neighborhoods by providing resources, services and education to assist teens in making better life-long choices.

Premier’s founders include board certified emergency medicine physicians Airron Richardson, MD, MBA, FACEP and Michael A. McGee, MD, MPH, FACEP and board-certified trauma surgeon and United States Navy veteran Reuben C. Rutland MD, MBA. The facility was launched in partnership with Dr. Gregory Primus, former Chicago Bears wide receiver and the first African American trained in orthopedic surgery at the University of Chicago.

“We are happy to open an urgent care in Hyde Park because the community needs it. I see so many urban professionals who either delay or go without care because of time constraints. No one has 8 hours to wait in the emergency department for a minor illness or the flexibility to wait 3 weeks because their primary care doctor is booked solid. We are here to help fill that gap,” says Dr. Rutland. “We are not in competition with the doctors’ offices or the emergency department. We are a supplement to them both, to help relieve the stress on those two facilities.”

The center, located at 1301 E. 47th Street Building #2 Chicago, IL, will care for people of all ages, providing urgent care, occupational health, basic wellness and prevention services. Walk-in treatment is available for various conditions including: abrasions (scrapes), abscesses (boils), bites (dog or human), broken bones (fractures), minor burns, colds, coughs, conjunctivitis (“pink eye”), contusions (bruises), cuts (lacerations) that may require stitches, dislocations, ear infections, eye and ear injuries, hand injuries, foreign object and splinter removal, foot injuries, influenza (the flu), ingrown toenails, joint injuries (sprains), muscle injuries (strains), minor nosebleeds, rashes (ringworm, poison ivy, etc.), sexually transmitted diseases, sinus infections, sore and strep throat, stings (insects and bees) and UTI’s (urinary tract infections).

The office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., and offers multiple exam and procedure rooms to give patients quick and easy access to care they can count on. Once a patient is seen, they are typically treated in less than an hour, making Premier’s walk-in clinic an ideal provider of the immediate care when it’s needed the most. Premier accepts many major types of insurance and offers services at a fraction of the cost of hospital-affiliated urgent care or emergency rooms.

To learn more about Premier Health Urgent Care and its services visit their website. 

 

Source: Chicago Defender

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The Ultimate List of Black Owned Farms & Food Gardens

Black owned farms make up less than 2 percent of all farms in the United States.

According to a recent report, Black farmers lost 80 percent of their farmland from 1910 to 2007, often because they lacked access to loans or insurance needed to sustain their businesses.

The report mentions the “long and well-documented history of discrimination against Black farmers by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture).”

It goes on to state that “The unequal administration of government farm support programs, crucial to protecting farmers from an inherently risky enterprise, has had a profound impact on rural communities of color.”

It is clear that that Black farmers need help now more than ever. We also need fresh produce they provide. Here is a list of Black owned farms and food gardens that you can support.

Black Owned Farms

Alabama

black owned farms
Darden Bridgeforth & Sons Farms/ Credit: News Courier

Darden Bridgeforth & Sons (Tanner, AL)

Bain Home Garden (Rehoboth, AL)

Binford Farms (Athens, AL)

Datus Henry Industries (Birmingham, AL )

Fountain Heights Farms (Birmingham, AL)

Hawkins Homestead Farm (Kinsey, AL)

Arizona

MillBrook Urban Farms

Millbrook Urban Farms (Phoenix, AZ )

Patagonia Flower Farms (Patagonia, AZ)

Project Rootz Farm (Phoenix, AZ)

California

black owned farms
Will Scott of Scott Family Farms/ Credit: AP Photo/Gosia Wozniacka

African American Farmers of California demo farm (Fresno, CA)

Farms to Grow, Inc. (Oakland, CA)

Corky’s Nuts (Northern CA)

Scott Family Farms (Fresno, CA)

Rancho de Rodney (Fresno, CA)

Connecticut

Root Life (New Haven, CT)

The DMV Area (DC, MD, VA)

black owned farms
Soilful City/Facebook

DC

Good Sense Farm

Good Sense Farm (Washington, DC)

Three Part Harmony (Washington, DC)

Soilful City (Washington, DC)

Sylvanaqua Farms (Washington, DC/Norfolk, VA)

MD

Cherry Hill Urban Garden

Cherry Hill Urban Garden (Cherry Hill, MD)

Deep Roots Farm (Brandywine, MD)

Dodo Farms (Brookeville, MD) 

Four Mother’s Farm (Princess Anne, MD)

Jenny’s Market (Friendship, MD)

The Bladensburg Farm (Riverdale, MD)

Tha Flower Factory  (Baltimore, MD)

VA

 

Haynie Farms (Reedville, VA)

Berrily Urban (Northern VA)

Botanical Bites Provisions (Fredericksburg, VA)

Boyd Farms (Nathalie VA)

Broadrock Community Garden (Richmond, VA)

Browntown Farms (Warfield, VA)

Brunswick Agriculture and Cultural Model Homesteading & Equestrian Center (Warfield , VA)

Carter Family Farm (Unionville, VA)

Cusheeba Earth: A Soil Culture Farm (Onley, VA)

Fitrah Farms (Central VA)

Go Greens Farms (Suffolk, VA)

Haynie Farm (Reedville, VA)

Mighty Thundercloud Edible Forest (Birdsnest, VA)

Mor-Cannabis (Scottsburg, VA)

Vanguard Ranch (Gordonsville, VA)

Verde Hemp Farms (Surry County, VA)

Florida

Griffin Organic Poultry

Harvest Blessing Garden (Jacksonville, FL)

Fisher Farms (Jonesville, FL)

Griffin Organic Poultry (Harthorne, FL)

Infinite Zion Roots Farms (Apopka, FL)

Ital Life Farm (Tampa, FL)

Marlow Farms (Kissimmee, FL)

Seed Mail Seed (West Palm Beach, FL)

Smarter By Nature LLC  (Tallahassee, FL)

Georgia

black owned farms
The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm /Facebook

Swanson Family Farm (Hampton, GA)

Southeastern African-American Farmers Organic Network (Atlanta, GA)

The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm (Royston, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Patchwork City Farms (Atlanta, GA)

Local Lands (Dublin, GA)

Miller City Farm (Fairburn, GA)

Nature’s Candy Farm (Atlanta, GA)

Noble Honey Company (Atlanta, GA)

Restoration Estates Farms (Haddock, GA)

Semente Farm (Lithonia, GA)

Tea Brew Farm (Central Georgia)

The Green Toad Hemp Farm (Metter, GA)

Truly Living Well (Atlanta, GA)

Illinois

AM Lewis Farms (Matteson, IL )

Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Living (Pembroke Township, IL)

Chi City Foods ( Chicago, IL)

Dusable City Ancestral Winery & Vineyards and Dusable City Botanical Farms

Roots & Vine Produce and Cafe (Chicago, IL)

Salem Hemp Kings (Salem, IL)

Urban Growers Collective (Chicago, IL)

Your Bountiful Harvest (Chicago, IL)

Kentucky

The Russellville Urban Gardening Project (Russellville KY)

Barbour Farm (Canmer, KY)

Ballew Estates (Madison Co, Kentucky)

Cleav’s Family Market Farm (Bonnieville, KY)

Slak Market Farm (Lexington, KY)

Louisiana

black owned farms
Harper Armstrong, owner of Armstrong Farms/ Facebook

Armstrong Farms (Bastrop, LA)

Cryer’s Family Produce (Mount Hermon, LA)

Grow Baton Rouge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Laketilly Acres (New Orleans, LA)

Mama Isis Farm & Market (Baton Rouge, LA)

Oko Vue Produce Co (New Orleans, LA)

Provost Farm (Iberia Parish, LA)

Massachusetts

Agric Organics Urban Farming (Springfield, MA)

Urban Farming Institute of Boston (Mattapan, MA)

Maine

Annabessacook Farm (Winthrop, Maine)

Michigan

D-TownFarm (Detroit, MI)

Mississipi

Earcine (Cine`) Evans, founder of Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm

34th Street Wholistic Gardens & Education Center (Gulfport, MS )

Francis Flowers & Herbs Farm(Pickens, MS)

John H. Moody Farm (Soso, MS)

Morris Farms (Mound Bayou, MS)

RD & S Farm (Brandon, MS)

Field Masters Produce (Tylerton, MS)

Foot Print Farms (Jackson, MS)

Missouri

black owned farm
Will Witherspoon, CEO of Shire Gate Farm

Shire Gate Farm (Owensville, MO)

New Hampshire

New England Sweetwater Farm and Distillery (Winchester, NH)

New Jersey

Free Haven Farms (Lawnside, NJ)

Hawk Mountain Earth Center (Newark, NJ )

Hyah Heights (Newark, NJ )

Jerzey Buzz (Newark, NJ )

Morris Gbolo’s World Crop Farms (Vineland, NJ)

Ward’s Farm (Salem, NJ)

New York

Karen Washington, Co-Owner of Rise & Root Farm./ Twitter

Rise & Root Farm (Chester, NY)

East New York Farms (Brooklyn, NY)

Brooklyn Rescue Mission Urban Harvest (Brooklyn, NY)

Soul Fire Farm (Petersburg, NY)

North Carolina

black owned farms
Mother’s Finest Urban Farms

Mother’s Finest Urban Farms (Winston Salem, NC)

Abanitu Farm (Roxboro, NC)

Fourtee Acres (Enfield, NC)

First Fruits Farm (Louisburg, NC)

Yellow Mountain Garden (Franklin, NC)

Pine Knot Farms (Hillsborough, NC)

Savage Farms (Durham, NC)

Green Heffa Farms (Liberty, NC)

black owned farms
Green Heffa Farms

Ohio

Rid-All Green Partnership (Cleveland, OH)

Oregon

Mudbone Grown (Portland, OR)

Rainshadow Organics (Sisters, OR)

Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Urban Creators /Facebook

Mill Creek Farm (Philadelphia, PA)

The Philadelphia Urban Creators (Philadelphia, PA)

South Carolina

Fresh Future Farms/ Adam Chandler Photography

Fresh Future Farm (North Charleston, SC)

Gullah Farmers Cooperative (St. Helena Island, SC)

Gullah Farmers

Morning Glory Homestead Farm (St. Helena Island, SC) 

Rare Variety Farms (Columbia, SC)

SCF Organic Farms (Sumter, SC)

Texas

We Over Me Farm (Dallas, TX)

Bonton Farms (Dallas, TX)

Berkshire Farms Winery (Wilmer, TX )

Caney Creek Ranch (Oakwood, TX )

Fresh Life Organics (Houston, TX)

Lee Lover’s Clover Honey (Houston,TX)

Lettuce Live Urban Farm (Missouri City, TX)

Long Walk Spring Farm (New Boston, TX)

Uncommon Bees (Jasper, TX)

Vermont

Clemmons Family Farm

Clemmons Family Farm (Charlotteville, VT)

Strafford Creamery (Strafford, VT)

Washington State

black owned farms
Clean Greens Farms/ Camille Dohrn

Sky Island Farm (Humptulips, WA)

Clean Greens (Seattle, WA)

International

Mwanaka Fresh Farm Foods (London)

 

 

-Tony O. Lawson

Special thanks to Ark Republic, who’s  Black Farmers Index was used to update portions of this list!


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(Feature Image: Adam Chandler Photography)

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Black Owned Juice Bars You Should Know

The $2.2 billion a year Juice bar industry is growing due to an increased focus on healthier consumption of fruits and vegetables and recent changes in dietary habits.

Support these Black owned Juice bars that are promoting healthy living. Many are offering takeout and delivery.

Black Owned Juice Bars

iGet Juiced (Snellville, GA)

Local Green (Atlanta, GA)

Sage Juice Bar & Cafe (Duluth, GA)

Turning Natural (D.C. & MD locations)

Juices For Life (Bronx, NY)

Fusion Smoothie and Juice Bar (Summerville, SC)

Stripp’d Juice (Philadelphia, PA)

Black Owned Juice Bars

Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar (Washington, D.C.)

Black Owned Juice Bars

Juiceheads (Atlanta, GA)

Black Owned Juice Bars

Malamiah Juice Bar  (Grand Rapids, MI)

Joy’s Health Sanctuary (London, UK)

 

-Tony O. Lawson


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Pastor Blends Faith and Farms to end Food Insecurity in Black Churches

Several years ago, Rev. Heber Brown III decided he needed to do more than pray. The now 38-year-old pastor at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland, noticed more members of his congregation were suffering from diet-related illnesses.

In Baltimore City, one in three residents is obese and 12 percent has Type 2 diabetes — two conditions that disproportionately affect black Americans.

Additionally, 34 percent of black residents in Baltimore live in food deserts (compared to 8 percent of white residents) and don’t have regular access to fresh, healthy and affordable foods.

So Brown turned to seeds, in addition to scripture, and started a garden on a 1,500-square-foot plot of land in front of the church. Today, that garden grows everything from summer squash to kale, and yields 1,100 pounds of produce — all to feed the community that meets weekly to worship.

“It was amazing,” said Brown, who, in addition to starting the garden, partnered with black farmers in the area to bring pop-up markets to the church after Sunday service.

Rev. Heber Brown III and Aleya Fraser, co-founder of Black Dirt Farm, hold up produce from the farm.

“We saw attendance bump up in our worship, we saw a great energy … and it went so [well] here, that I wondered what would happen if we could spread it through other churches and create a network of churches that do the same thing.”

In 2015, Brown launched The Black Church Food Security Network — a grassroots initiative that empowers black churches to establish a sustainable food system to combat the systemic injustices and disparities that plague black Americans, who, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are sicker and poorer than non-black Americans.

The network currently operates at more than 10 congregations in Baltimore, most of which are located in the city’s “food priority areas.” There are also participating churches and farms in D.C., Virginia and North Carolina — and the list is growing.

“We have people contacting us from all over — different religions, different parts of the city. The phone is always ringing, the emails are always coming in from churches saying, ‘Hey, we want in,’” said Brown, who added that he also receives interest from people of different races.

“They see it as important, they recognize that farmers markets are great, but there are gaps that farmers markets are not filling, and African American farmers, in particular, have unique struggles.”

His goal is to meet a need on both ends of the spectrum by supplying under-served communities with the food they need, while moving and marketing the food produced.

Merging faith and food may seem unconventional to some, but Brown said every time he talks about connecting churches with agriculture, he gets “ready amens and strong head nods.”

Church members tending to the Black Food Security Network garden at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church.

“It just makes sense,” said Brown, who finds inspiration for his work from visionaries such as Fannie Lou Hamer, who founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative in 1967, and Vernon Johns.

“Spirituality and agriculture have a deep relationship that is outlined in sacred scripture and that is practiced in weekly gatherings in worship spaces, and so I have no problem getting people to buy into this vision.”

These days, Brown does less digging and harvesting and focuses more on connecting communities with farmers and matching volunteers with various church gardens. He also helps churches figure out how to make use of the space they already own — classrooms, kitchens and land — most of which are only utilized once a week.

“And I think that’s a gross waste of resources,” Brown said.

“If your Monday through Saturday approach can include agriculture initiatives — farming or gardening or supporting a local farmer — that’s a big-time plus.”

It’s also an empowering and sustainable model when it comes to fighting hunger. Too often, food insecure communities receive charity, which is great in emergency situations, but is not a long-term fix.

“And I think solutions for the long haul have to spring from those who are most directly affected by the issue,” Brown said.

“Food is always going to be a priority for our communities. And churches and faith-based organizations, I got a strong hunch, will always be here.”

Brown sees The Black Church Food Security Network “going far into the future,” one community at a time. He dreams of a day when churches across the country have markets where “people can come and praise and worship and sing and get a good chunk of the groceries they need for their household at the same time.”

And for those outside of the black church who want to help, Brown said supporting, not leading, is the most productive strategy.

“If you come in with the mentality that I cannot be fully free until everybody is fully free, it makes for better partners,” he said.

“And if we are strategic in being courageous subversives for each other, then I think the world that our children will inherit will be better than the one that we’re in right now.”

 

Source: WTOP