August is National Black Business Month, a time for people to recognize black business and entrepreneurs. The origins of this month dates back to 2004 when Frederick E. Jordan and John William Templeton wanted to highlight Black entrepreneurs after reflecting on the challenges they faced as business owners. However, I could argue this appreciation goes back even further to Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois, both of whom created organizations and guidelines to help with the development and growth of Black enterprises.
The importance of this month is to give space to Black businesses, because of the disproportionate inequities that Black entrepreneurs face due to centuries of systemic racism and socio-economic disparities. We are aware of the challenges these businesses faced before COVID-19, however, since the pandemic started and continues to keep a firm grasp on our economy, Black businesses continue an uphill climb toward anything that resembles a sense of economic and financial stability and normalcy.
How can you support Black enterprises?
According to the U.S. Census, there are approximately 124,551 Black-owned businesses in the United States. There are plenty of businesses out there for you to choose from, so let’s get started!
Shop local – Many businesses are in our communities, so start there, give them your dollars! Check these lists compiled by local online websites:
25 Incredible Black-Owned Businesses to Support in Atlanta (SecretAtlanta.co)
50 Outstanding Black-Owned Restaurants in Atlanta (AtlantaEats.com)
25 Black-Owned Businesses in Atlanta (AtlantaParent.com)
Browse the Official Black Wallstreet – Their slogan is “Find Anything Black-Owned Anytime.”
Make space – Most recommendations are word of mouth, so tell your friends and family. Post on your social media. Use hashtags, and follow the hashtags as well.
Support as often as you can! – Don’t stop when this month is over, support them whenever you can!
—Dhy Edwardsberry, business librarian, Goizueta Business Library