We live in a polarized world. It’s been more than a year since the brutal murder of George Floyd sent shockwaves around the world. As people all over the world mourned, America was once again reminded of its shortcomings as a society. That one viral video of a white police officer pushing his knee against the neck of a black ‘suspect’ summed up American police brutality.
A century has passed since the abolition of slavery, and yet, we can still find its remnants around us. We continue to struggle to come to terms with the past. We continue to struggle to see people beyond their racial attributes and skin colour. Whether it is societal discrimination or economic disparity, the African-American community finds itself at the receiving end.
According to an article published by Janelle Jones in the Economic Policy Institute:
“Average wealth for white families is seven times higher than average wealth for black families. Worse still, median white wealth (wealth for the family in the exact middle of the overall distribution—wealthier than half of all families and less-wealthy than half) is twelve times higher than median black wealth. More than one in four black households have zero or negative net worth, compared to less than one in ten white families without wealth, which explains the large differences in the racial wealth gap at the mean and median. These raw differences persist, and are growing, even after taking age, household structure, education level, income, or occupation into account.”
Now, the question arises. What can we (as a society) do to help bridge the disparities between black-owned and white-owned businesses? In this article, we provide some ways through which YOU can contribute to helping black-owned businesses.
When we talk about addressing disparities here, our intention is not to indulge in biased consumerism but to ensure social justice.
When you support black-owned businesses by spending capital, you contribute to community building and camaraderie. When black-owned businesses flourish, the black community flourishes, paving the way for a promising future of black entrepreneurship. Supporting black businesses is a conscious choice. It is a choice that enables them to fight against the monopoly of white businesses.
This is perhaps the most powerful weapon consumers like we have; the ability and freedom to choose where and how we spend our money. We get to choose who we buy goods and services from.
Through the power of social media, we have seen significant examples of ensuring social justice for the black community and its people. Perhaps the most prominent example of it is when a white cop brutally murdered George Floyd. Many brands went beyond posting the usual sympathetic tweet or social media update, choosing to highlight how they are helping the black community in light of a tragedy. In fact, businesses that were discriminatory against black communities were called out publicly and even boycotted en masse.
Social media plays a huge role in sparking off a conversation. The same can be said for promoting and supporting black businesses. Only by choosing where we consciously spend our money can we ensure a level-playing field for black businesses against established brands.
By opting for conscious consumerism, we are in a position to empower entrepreneurs from the black community. According to available statistics, most black-owned startups don’t even manage to survive a year before going bankrupt. But with more channels of funding and support, things can change.
We need to empower black entrepreneurship by giving them a bigger platform. Black creators and entrepreneurs should be featured in the news, blogs, podcasts, and interviews more than ever. We need to provide them with a platform that gives them a fighting chance against the dominance of established businesses. Only by supporting black entrepreneurship can we create more job opportunities for black people and talent across the states.
As laymen, we can play our part for social justice by promoting a black-owned business that we like over social media. We can easily do that through authentic and organic recommendations and referrals.
Most of the time, we are not aware of the power that we as consumers have. We are also not aware of the choices that we have, and it is only through promotion and visibility that we can bridge this gap and help black businesses flourish.
So let’s play our part and empower black businesses and talent by recognizing that we are responsible for doing so.
Your little contribution will help us serve the Black community in fighting for their fundamental rights and giving them necessities such as food, clothing, shelter, and education. Join us as we rise against Black injustice.
8 in 10 Black men with at least some college experience reported facing racial discrimination.
1 in 3 Black children live below the poverty line.
Are paid less than white men and 21% less than white women.
Are more likely to be killed by the police than white people.
From 2013-2020, 98.3% of police killings of Blacks have not resulted in officers being convicted.