This blog post was written by SAC member Jawahir Mohamed.
It is no secret that the small pieces of paper that we carry around in our pockets (or little pieces of plastic) hold a substantial amount of power. Collectively, our money can greatly influence corporations, businesses, policies, and society–one of the main issues it currently faces being inequality. Therefore, it makes sense that one of the best ways that we can reform (as best as we can) this blemish in our society is by directing our money and resources to support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) owned businesses.
Supporting BIPOC owned businesses can mean different things for everyone and look very differently: for some it’s using their money to buy services and products, for others it may be advertising on social media, or volunteering their time to help in any way. The important thing is that these businesses receive the support that they need to grow and succeed. In doing so, not only will the economy benefit, but minority groups will climb up the economic latter, helping to decrease inequality and disparities.
Supporting Black-owned businesses has been a hot topic in the Greater Boston area for some time now. There are plenty of Black-owned businesses in the area and we will be highlighting a few here today.
Khadija’s Café is a Somali-owned restaurant in Roxbury, that serves 100% authentic and tasty traditional Somali food. You can enjoy a nice plate of Somali rice with lamb, goat meat, chicken, fish, or thin-sliced steak with a cup of traditional Somali tea (with or without milk). The array of options is endless, and the price is fairly set given the proportions served.
Once you have enjoyed a nice meal at Khadija’s Cafe, head on upstairs to shop cultural East African clothing, jewelry, home décor and much more–flea market style! The clothes are brought in from overseas from places like Dubai, Turkey, Kenya, and Somalia.
If you love reading and enjoy purchasing your books the good old fashion way, check out the Frugal Bookstore: the only black-owned one in Boston. This is a family-run store, who rely heavily on the community. In 2020, the community raised $20,000 within 24 hours to help during the pandemic. The owners greatly appreciate the support and continue to provide unique and amazing book selections for its customers.
We hope that you get the chance to check some of these businesses out and support them in any way that you can. To be directed to more BIPOC-owned businesses, check out this website. If you are not in the Boston Area, no need to fret. There are many resources, such as this one, that will allow you to locate black-owned business near you that offer different services and products. And if you live out of state, check out this article on NBC News that highlights 150+ Black owned businesses in the country. Remember, you can always do a quick google search and take the initiative to go out of your way, actively seeking out opportunities for you to support these companies. It is time that we redirect our purchasing power to BIPOC-owned small businesses.