Economic empowerment is a key to the thriving of any community. However, a legacy of injustice and discrimination in our country has often denied and withheld economic opportunity to people of color, especially African Americans. The choices we make about how and where we spend our money have the opportunity to reinforce these norms, or subvert them. In the Gospel of Luke, Mary sings of how God will bring the powerful down from their thrones and lift up those who are low (Luke 1:52). When we boycott we can bring down the powerful. When we spend we can lift up those who have for too long been kept low by discrimination.
This year at St. Lydia’s, Emily has challenged our congregation to buy all of our Christmas presents from Black owned businesses. Our spending can help support African American business owners, shifting the balance of power in our country. In addition, our guess is that this practice will help raise our level of awareness about who are money goes to, and what we’re supporting when we spend.
The list below is still in progress! If you know of black owned businesses in the New York area, please comment below.
Local Businesses in New York
Clothing and Accessories
Jamila’s, Prospect Heights
My Brooklyn Baby, Fort Greene
Sister’s Uptown Bookstore, Washington Heights
Hue Man Bookstore (online)
Lisi Cosmetics, Midtown
Urban Vintage, Clinton Hill
The Soul Spot, Downtown Brooklyn
Ruthie’s Restaurant, Clinton Hill
Sylvia’s Soul Food, Harlem
People’s Republic of Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens
Ghenet, Boerum Hill
Make My Cake, Harlem
Annie Mae’s Cheesecakes, Harlem
Bed and Breakfasts
Akwaaba Mansion, Bedstuy
Go Etsy! Huffington Post Black Voices has a great list of Black artists and crafts people selling prints, stationary, skin and hair care products, t-shirts, keepsake boxes, bags, accessories, pillows, jewelry, and knitwear. Or check out Etsy’s list of Black owned shops.
Pardon My Fro, for t-shirts and prints
Beads Byaree, for beaded jewelry
All sorts of stuff from PowWow
Unique items from Sir and Madame
Jamilla Okubo’s work, sold with Society 6
Leather items from Urban Herilooms
Stationary from Primrose Press
Clothes And Jewelry
Minoritees has some incredible t-shirts!
Skirts and accessories from Sofistafunk
Knitwear from LadieLoops
Amazing dolls and quits from Idk Kids
Skin Care, Hair Care, Nail Polish
Nail Polish from Polish & Co
Skincare for men at La Bella
And check out this list of black owned spas around the country (gift certificates!)
Cake pops from Sugar Puddin Cafe
Garrett Popcorn! Yum!
Specialty Tea from Gullah Girl Tea
The Root has even more ideas here, as does mycoloures.com. Autostraddle offers these Queer Black Owned Businesses and Organizations for us to support. And thank you to Soulreflectionz for the image and many of the shops listed above, as well as Afrobella.com for her incredible list!