Black History Month means different things to each of us. For me, it is a time to give extra consideration to what it means to be African American, to revisit the history of Blacks in the United States, and honor those (stars) who have paved the way for us to have a better life. I also contemplate the future.
As we celebrate Black History Month, I wanted to recognize the following companies and their products. They provide historical information not found in schools and mainstream media. I encourage you to take a look at their websites and products.
- Black 365 offers a calendar that provides a black history fact for each day of the year, and historical information about prominent and woke African Americans every month.
- Black History Flashcards are provided by Urban Intellectuals. Fifty-two flashcards are provided in each volume that includes information about prominent and woke individuals of African descent.
As we celebrate Black History Month, we should also recognize the importance of, and increase our commitment to shopping black owned.¹ Most African Americans I know support this but describe roadblocks. We can overcome these roadblocks.
- ROADBLOCK 1 – Black owned businesses are not perceived as accessible because they are online, or product availability is at some distance compared to local retail outlets.
Many black owned brands ARE available at local and chain retail outlets. If you are interested in beauty products, you will find several black owned brands in local outlets. See the end of this post for more details. I also believe that if or when more people direct their buying power towards black owned brands, there will be an incentive to have said brands locally available. Decide, do you buy the brands you want, OR do you pick from what retailers choose to make available?
- ROADBLOCK 2 – Many individuals are averse to online shopping. There are various reasons for this, but I find there are apprehensions about shipping costs (in obtaining or returning items).
In terms of shipping costs, many companies offer free shipping when purchases are above a certain amount, such as $30.00 or more. Therefore, consider pooling orders with others interested in the same brands to split the cost of shipping.
Also, be proactive in researching information about products before you purchase. Reviews about products are often available on company and social media websites which I have found helpful. Check out YouTube, Facebook and similar sites to see what others have to say. If you have questions about the product, contact the company. I have found they want you to be happy with your selection, and answering your questions honestly furthers this. In addition, many companies offer rewards programs for loyalty. This helps to offset shipping costs.
- ROADBLOCK 3 – On a related note, many individuals want to try out or on the product before deciding if they want to make a purchase.
Many companies offer low cost samples. I plan to blog about this in the future. Often, companies have at least one storefront location. Therefore, if or when you are in the area, stop by. Local communities usually have a Black Expo, Black Chamber of Commerce, Black Business Directory, or similar venues where you can find and sample products firsthand.
Many clothing companies especially offer “pop up” tours where you can sample merchandise. Check company sites for pertinent information. It is also worth doing an Internet search of “pop up” with “black owned” to find local events.
In conclusion, I leave you with this quote from PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA.
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
- Shop With Leslie, What if we all increased our spending at black owned businesses, 21 November, 2017, https://shopwithleslie.blog/2017/11/21/what-if-we-all-increased-our-spending-at-black-owned-businesses/
These Black owned beauty brands indicate availability in chain retail outlets. See the company websites to identify where products are sold.
Bath and Body
Hair Products (General)
Alikay Naturals, Andre Walker Hair, Briogeo Hair Care, Camille Rose Naturals, Curls, Design Essentials, Flawless Hair by Gabrielle Union, Hairobics All Natural, Jane Carter Solution, Kreyòl Essence, Mielle Organics, Nouritress, Obia Naturals, Soultanicals, Sunny Isle Jamaican Black Castor Oil, The Doux, The Mane Choice, and Urban Hydration
Hair Products (Natural)
Alikay Naturals, Design Essentials, Hairobics All Natural, Jane Carter Solution, Kinky Curly, Kreyòl Essence, Miss Jessie’s, Mixed Chicks, Qhemet Biologics, Sisterlocks, Soultanicals, Taliah Waajid, TGIN, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, and Urban Hydration
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