Today, black families hold only 1.5% of national wealth and the average white family has 8x the wealth of the average black family.
When I found this out, I was shocked and wanted to do something about it. Since then I’ve been supporting black owned businesses as much as possible.
While it's going to take more than a few purchases to change the financial situation for African Americans nationwide, investing in the community is a good start.
Here's my list of 10 Black owned businesses, artists and solopreneurs to support:
WE BELIEVE FITNESS
I can’t say enough about We Believe Fitness! I’ve lost a couple of inches and over 17 pounds during quarantine. Just by following the workouts and dietary recommendations, I’ve been able to reach my fitness goals without stepping foot inside a gym . Bay Area born owner and CEO Carlena Henderson has a background in personal training, fitness competing and has successfully taught over 12,000 sessions. She takes a holistic and functional approach to fitness, ensuring that her clients minimize injuries and increase their quality of life as they reach fitness goals. She offers both in-person and remote services making her fitness routines easy and accessible. If you're interested in taking your health and fitness to the next level, sign up for a class here.
Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Celisse is a unique talent that is hard to define. Limiting her style to one genre doesn’t do her justice, and once you listen to her latest song FREEDOM, you’ll likely want to sign up for the next #BlackLivesMatter Campaign. Her raw talent moves the heart of anyone who listens, which is why she’s landed opportunities on Broadway, TV sitcoms like Little Rock, the Electric Company and collaborations with Guitar Center, Gibson Guitar and artists like Lizzo, Ghosts of the Forest, Kesha and Mariah Carey. Check out her latest song here.
Diversity & Inclusion Expert April Allen is no novice at tackling tough conversations. She spends her days navigating issues of institutional racism and discrimination within the work place. But her skills don't stop at the corporate level, she's passionate about educating young parents, teachers and people in general, on practical ways to address societal discrimination. She has written two children's books that teaches to be openminded and respectful of differences. Check out her books I Love Being Me and It's Nice to Be Nice on Amazon today.
Created by husband and wife duo Jesse and Amina Brooks, these Oakland, CA Natives founded TrapxArt as a way to give voice and expression to urban artists. They've successfully held hundreds of events internationally and routinely provide safe spaces for artists to network and jump start their career. In between shows they promote creatives through digital services such as Live Interviews, TrapxArt TV, a monthly digital magazine and more. To check out their magazine or learn about upcoming events, visit their website here.
BEAUTY SKIN DEEP (BSD)
The first time I went to Beauty Skin Deep for hair braiding, I brought my books, laptop and bagged lunch, fully prepared for an 8 hour salon day. 3 hours later, I was stunned when my waist length, medium sized box braids were DONE! Beauty Skin Deep is fast and is "NOT PLAYIN with you!" She will have you looking good in NO time--literally. She is efficient, to the point and neat. Don’t worry about waiting 2 hours in the salon before getting seated, she likes to keep things timely. But also make sure you are not late as she does run a tight shift! Find her on Instagram if you need a hair appointment--serious inquiries only!
This gurl will have you looking--flawless! No more days of questioning your outfit, wondering if you made the right fashion choice or trying to decide if that old shirt in the back of your closet is still in fashion. Elecia Tyson offers cutting edge, current and relevant fashion tips that will help alleviate any fashion concerns. Whether you're a lifestyle brand, a high powered executive, an artist, actor, model or a suburban mom wanting to freshen up her image-- this is the woman to work with. She offers in person and digitally-based services. To check out her different offerings, visit her website here.
Looking for a heartwarming children's books your little ones can relate to? Check out Cheneé Saunders children's book, 123's With Butterfly Bella. You'll walk with Bella on her journey towards learning to count from 1 to 10. You can purchase the children's book off of Amazon here. Don’t forget to leave your rating!
Grass-fields adds a modern flair to African prints and traditional styles. This trendy and fashionable clothing brand has their clothes made in Cameroon, Nigeria and the UK! I’ve purchased and strutted three of their vibrant dresses and rarely leave a room without compliments. To check out their latest selection of handmade clothes, check out their website here.
This is one of my favorite restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s rare you find a Guyanese restaurant in this part of California, so I was thrilled when I stumbled upon the hidden gem. The owner and chef is from South America and speaks kindly of his Grandma Oyo, the inspiration behind many of the delicious served recipes. If you want a flavor-filled experience and food to dream about for days after--check out Oyo. And in the event we're forced back into Shelter in Place -- don’t fear, they offer take out (my favorite is the Jerk Chicken Dinner). Find the menu here.
I discovered Nola Skinsentials just a few months ago and plan to never go back! This vegan skincare company is black-female owned and ran. I love knowing the products I use on my face are coming from real people, and not a laboratory. Visit their website to meet the team and check out their website to get your own personal skin analysis.