Brief History On The Term ‘Black Friday’
According to a Business Insider article, the term ‘Black Friday’ can be traced back to 1869. It is believed that the phrase was first used as a result of two investors driving up the price of gold and causing the market to crash on Sept. 24th of that year. Then, the phrase resurfaced in the 1950s as a reference to police officers working long hours to monitor a multitude of shoppers and tourists on a Friday that fell between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy football game. And by the 1980s, ‘Black Friday’ became widely associated with retailers' shift from being in the red to the black as a result of the busy holiday season.
This year, ‘Black Friday’ is taking on a slightly new meaning. It’s still associated with shopping and helping to promote a shift to profitable financial standing for companies. But, with initiatives such as #BuyBlackFriday, people are hoping that the wealth also extends to Black-owned businesses.
The Importance Of Buying Black This Black Friday (And Beyond)
Last Black Friday, Shoppers spent upward of $7 billion online alone. Sources listed Amazon, Walmart, and Target as some of the top retailers, which didn’t come as a surprise. But, we couldn’t find any sources that listed Black-owned companies among the top retailers.
This time around, people in general, and Black people in particular are calling for more support of Black-owned businesses. This comes off the heels of recent social injustices and the economic crisis resulting from COVID-19. And, if Black-owned businesses did even a fraction of what big retailers like Amazon and Walmart did, that could make a world of difference because as USA Today explains, “This year, more than any year, all small businesses need your support. The coronavirus pandemic has been an extinction-level event for small businesses, with more than 3.3 million businesses – or 22% – shutting down from February to April, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Black-owned businesses were hit even harder, with 41% closing permanently.”
Black-Owned Companies To Support This Season
Whether it’s Black Friday, or any other day of the year, there’s no shortage of Black-owned
businesses you could/should support, with products from various categories. So, in support of the #BuyBlackFriday initiative, we’ve chosen to highlight a few companies featured on their site to help you kick off your Black Friday shopping spree. We’ll also list a couple of other directories you can reference to find various other Black-owned businesses.
Founded by Brooklynite Ariel Terry. These nail lacquers are a love letter to Brooklyn, in polish form. They come in a variety of colors, with the cutest names that pay tribute to different aspects
of the culture (Yerrr). They’re also vegan!
Founded by Katonya Breaux. As per Unsun, “the sun don’t discriminate!” With that in mind, Breaux created sunscreen products for all skin tones. And, they’re said to be derived from natural ingredients.
Books & Stationery
Founded by Dr. Dionne Mahaffey. This company is both women led and Black owned. And, if you can’t find a card to match the occasion, you’re probably not looking because Culture Greetings seems to have a card for just about everything.
Founded by Onikah Asamoa-Caesar. There are over 200 books to choose from, and according to the company “at least 70% of our books are written by or featuring BBIPOC and/or marginalized communities.”
Founded by Ericka K Myers. Listen, we don’t have to do too much talking. These accessories (especially the earrings) are true statement pieces and they speak for themselves!
Founded by Neumi Anekhe. We had to include understated classics for those with more subtle taste. If you’re a self proclaimed “everyday woman looking to feel empowered and confident”, then these just might be the accessories (and clothes) for you.
Founded by Pernell & Rod. We have three words for you: Coffees, teas, and purpose -- Not only do you get morning essentials, but the company also “pledges 5% of its profits to initiatives aligned to sustaining youth programming, enhancing workforce development, and eradicating youth homelessness.”
Founded by Zac Coughlin. If you’re looking for sweets for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, as well as any day in between or after, check out Zac’s sweetshop. We personally have our eyes on the Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Pretzel. But, there’s also an option to customize your own cookie pizza!
Founded by Sofi Seck. If you’re looking for beautiful, woven home goods, this is it. This is the place. Equally as beautiful is their effort to shift misconceptions about Africa and African art, as well as build a STEAM school for girls in Senegal by setting aside 20% of the money earned from each product sold.
**These next ones aren’t featured on the #BuyBlackFriday site, but we think they're worth mentioning since we’re on the subject of items for the home.**
Founded by Raina Rene. And the category is... Luxury! These luxury scented candles (with equally luxurious names) use soy wax and fine-scented oils. Talk about Pure Opulence!
Founded by Demetria. They are definitely #doingitfortheculture! Their candles boast a 40+ hr burn time, and they’re named after the most familiar and most dear songs, movies, books, and more from the culture. They also have wax melts, sprays, splashes, and body butters in their lineup.
Founded by Monisha Edwards. #SelfCareSunday is cool, but let’s normalize daily self care regimens. With that said, we had to include Scent & Fire on our list. Their candles are “designed to destress environments and promote self-care for mental wellness.” They also have other products (like linen and body sprays) that help promote self care.
Founded by Latrice. Palette Pots has a range of glossy and matte planters. So, if you’re a plant mom or dad, with modern taste and an appreciation for pops of color, they’ve got you covered.
Founded by Angela Richardson and Michelle Richardson. These home cleaning products are derived from natural ingredients. They are non-toxic and sustainable, so if you’re looking for eco-friendly, cruelty free products to replace what you currently have, you may have just found your match.
Additional Directories to Find Black-owned Businesses
In addition to #BuyBlackFriday, there are various other sources you could use to find Black-owned businesses. Some honorable mentions are:
To all who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping! We’ll see you on the other side of the shopping bonanza.
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