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Black Owned Businesses: Supporting African American Economic Empowerment this Christmas





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


Coffee Shops

Urban Vintage, Clinton Hill



The Soul Spot, Downtown Brooklyn

Ruthie’s Restaurant, Clinton Hill

Sylvia’s Soul Food, Harlem

Michele’s Catering and Soul Food Bistro, 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


Online Merchants

Handcrafted Gifts

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

Candles from Simply Scents Candle Co or Wax Candle Company

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

Jewelery from Candid or Lingua Nigra

Knitwear from LadieLoops



ABC Me Flashcards

Amazing dolls and quits from Idk Kids


Skin Care, Hair Care, Nail Polish

Soaps from Smell Good SpaNyah, or Beelux

Hair care form Ruth and Mae’s, Koils by Nature, or My Honey Child

Cosmetics from Fashion Fair, Iman, Magnolia Makeup, or Mischo

Skincare from Vera Moore, Belle Butters, Skin Deep or Emily Jayne

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

Gourmet Lollypops from Luxe Lollipops

Garrett Popcorn!  Yum!

Specialty Tea from Gullah Girl Tea

Wine from Heritage Link Brands or Rideau Vineyards



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!



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