(BPRW) Pink Noire Beauty Supply & Cosmetics Celebrates Second Anniversary With Release Of New Braid And Loc Gel | Black PR Wire, Inc.

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For Immediate Release

April 18, 2024

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LaReyna Tory

(BPRW) Pink Noire Beauty Supply & Cosmetics Celebrates Second Anniversary with Release of New Braid and Loc Gel

Memphis’ Only Black Female Owned Beauty Supply Continues to Grow

(Black PR Wire) Memphis, TN – Pink Noire Beauty Supply & Cosmetics, owned and led by Chasity Monroe, will proudly commemorate its second anniversary on Saturday April 20th with a daylong beauty celebration and the public release of its new braid and loc gel.

Pink Noire Beauty & Cosmetics heavily emphasizes a luxury beauty experience focused specifically on empowering Black Beauty. The brand is committed to providing a highly curated assortment of products and services tailored to meet the needs and desires of Black women, including offering a series of products designed by Chasity Monroe.

The latest addition to the suite of Pink Noire products is designed to provide innovative hold and control, helping braids and locs by reducing frizz, locking in moisture and creating a polished hair style without a white caste or residue. The release of this new product follows the success of the company’s number one seller, an edge control gel, and their other daily use hair care essentials.

“As we celebrate our second year in business, we wanted to recognize our growth with this product release but also by highlighting other entrepreneurs in the Black Beauty community here in Memphis.” stated Chasity Monroe. “Saturday will be a celebration of the diverse experience our customers and Black women have when seeking hair and beauty resources. I’ve pulled together a team of experts that will be sharing their advice and working directly with customers throughout the day”.

The event kicks off at noon with recognized makeup artist, Destiney Lawrence who will be conducting a make-up class and will be followed by conversations with Charlette Logan, owner of the W Salon at 1PM, Melanie Mull-Saulsberry founder of the Memphis Skin Academy at 2PM, Tamika Turner founder of the Institute of Beauty Natural Hair School at 3PM and Takeisha Berry-Brooks founder of a Natural ALair Beauty Lounge at 4PM. Guests will have the opportunity to interact with these special guests, enjoy live music, special product discounts and the opportunity to win a scholarship to the Institute of Beauty Natural Hair School.

Monroe believes strongly in advocating for opportunities for Black women to grow in the entrepreneurial space. Before embarking on her own journey, Monroe served as the Director of Development at a venture philanthropy organization focused on supporting employment social enterprises through investment, funding, and technical assistance. Earlier in her career, she honed her expertise in market research and consumer insights while working with Procter & Gamble, specifically on beauty brands like Clairol.

“If my story or the story of any of our guests at this celebration inspires just one new entrepreneurial eLort, we have won. The Black Beauty experience is as much about how you feel and look as it is about the potential for you to recognize your own desire to explore, invest and grow ideas that support Black business,” said Monroe. “I hope that next year when we are celebrating our third anniversary, that we will be able to highlight other new Black owned businesses and that collectively we can recognize the economic impact we have on Memphis and Shelby County.”

Earlier this year, Pink Noire received a $17,000 Inner-City Economic Development (ICED) Loan from the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis, to facilitate $25,000 worth of improvements at its store front. Funds from this award are dedicated to expanding salon space for both massage, makeup, and lash services.

Pink Noire Beauty Supply & Cosmetics is a leading beauty supply and cosmetics brand dedicated to redefining the standards of Black beauty and retail. Founded by Chasity Monroe, Pink Noire is committed to providing a highly curated assortment of brands, products, and services tailored to the needs of Black women. With a focus on exceptional customer service, product expertise, and an immersive shopping experience, Pink Noire Beauty Supply & Cosmetics is poised to become a trusted name in the beauty industry. To learn more visit www.pinknoire.com

The content and opinions expressed within this press release are those of the author(s) and/or represented companies, and are not necessarily shared by Black PR Wire. The author(s) and/or represented companies are solely responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the content of this Press release. Black PR Wire reserves the right to reject a press release if, in the view of Black PR Wire, the content of the release is unsuitable for distribution.


TAKE A LOOK: New Business Coming To The Quincy Square Bringing In African Culture To The Neighborhood


Bwembya’s Market will showcase art created by Zambian artists and goods from Zambia

Posted at 7:25 AM, Apr 04, 2024

and last updated 2024-04-04 07:25:13-04

Ashley Engle

I’m your neighborhood reporter for Quincy and Havana. I joined ABC 27 as a reporter in June 2023. I was born and raised in Florida and grew up in Lake Placid, Florida.

  • Bwembya’s Market will showcase art created by Zambian artists
  • Bwembya’s market’s grand opening is April 11TH at 10 a.m.
  • Watch to video to see what they have to offer.


From Zambia to the Quincy Square… neighbors here are working to show their countries culture.

I’m Ashley Engle in the Quincy neighborhood. I’m taking a look at a black owned business on the square and how they’re going to support Zambian artists.

Something different….

“It’s just amazing how much art is produced that people are not seeing.”

And Kena Bwembya and her husband Charles hope to use that different to educate neighbors.

“Art is something that we’ve always enjoyed.”

They decided to create Bwembya’s market, a new business coming to the Quincy Square.

“This is a way that maybe we can share the Zambian culture and the beautiful country of Zambia with the people here.”

Charles is from Zambia, a country in Africa. He says they will have items ranging from jewelry to kitchenware from there.

But one of their main goals is displaying Zambian art created by Zambian artists.

“I would like to present that beauty to the community here through art. People can see the crafts that are made there.”

Today, many people see different countries and their cultures through social media and photos. The Bwembya’s want to give neighbors the opportunity to touch and feel the African culture, right here in their back yard.

“It’s not just the countryside it’s not just wildlife there’s also cities and metropolitan areas you can visit, tourism and also connect that here to the local community so that they know that they are a part of that diaspora.”

In a report by surface, they say 90 to 95 percent of Africa’s cultural heritage is held outside the continent.

Bwembya’s market will be one of those places displaying that culture.

“A store local here but also just bringing and sharing the rich culture that exist in Zambia.”

Bwembya’s market’s grand opening is April 11TH at 10 a.m.

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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BlackBizFest Aims To Make Black-Owned Businesses Top Of Mind For All KC Consumers

Anticipation is growing for this spring’s debut BlackBizFest, said Marsha Willis, teasing a week-long celebration that puts Black excellence and entrepreneurship on full display.

Among the standout elements of the May 13-19 festival: the Kansas City Black Expo and Black Business Ball & Honors.

“We want people to put on their tourist hats, go participate, and patronize businesses that maybe they’ve never been to,” said Willis, CEO of Black Owned Business Kansas City (BOBKC), a group she founded in 2012 to help bridge the racial wealth gap by connecting Black business owners.

For Willis, her passion for supporting Black businesses stems from her admiration of previous Black Expo events she attended in her childhood through shortly before the pandemic, when in-person gatherings paused — many failing to easily return. 

“I remember the Black Expo being something where I would see all of the Black businesses and Black people together, and it just represented Black excellence,” she said.

The revived Black Expo is being organized within BlackBizFest under BOBKC.

In addition to such business activities such as a week-long tour of Black-owned businesses and vendors, the family-friendly festival offers a lively cultural experience with music performances, educational sessions, and ethnic cuisine, Willis said.

From the archives: Marsha Willis joins Facebook accelerator to boost 30K-strong community of Black-owned businesses, supporters

Legacy celebrated at Black Business Ball & Honors 

BlackBizFest plans to end the week with a bang with the Black Business Ball & Honors May 19 at the Kansas City Convention Center. Willis envisions an extravaganza that not only honors recent achievements, but also pays homage to the legacy of Black entrepreneurship in the community. 

Marsha Willis, Black Owned Business Kansas City (BOBKC); photo by Taylor Wilmore, Startland News

“I want the ball to celebrate Black excellence at its grandest level,” she said, emphasizing her aspiration to create a platform that bridges the past, present, and future of Black business endeavors.

By segregating the ball from the expo, Willis aims to create a refined space for the formal gala, where attendees adorned in black tie attire can celebrate and connect with other minority business owners. 

The Black Business Ball & Honors isn’t just about glamor, she said; the event serves as a catalyst for growth in the Black business community through camaraderie and connection. 

“We’re celebrating the entrepreneur and the impact African Americans have in our community when it comes to Black businesses,” said Willis. “I want to celebrate legacy, what’s happening now, and what’s there to come.” 

Click here for tickets for the Black Business Ball & Honors are available.

Kansas City Black Expo

“The Black Expo is going to be the greatest opportunity for our businesses,” said Willis, noting the showcase on May 18 at the Kansas City Convention Center serves as the nexus for highlighting a wide array of Black-owned businesses to the broader Kansas City community.

“With the Expo, I wanted to bring the flavor that I remember from a kid and just to make it as good and even better than we had before,” she said.

The Vendor’s Marketplace at the Black Expo offers Black business owners a platform to showcase their products and services, celebrating the resilience and creativity of entrepreneurship.

For speakers and seminars at the expo, she plans to include finance-focused programming and topics, recognizing its importance to expand Black businesses’ growth.

“I think the way that our African American businesses are going to have the greatest impact is if we are able to get more mentoring when it comes to making smart investments,” said Willis.

Click here for tickets for the Expo Vendor registration are available.

Marsha Willis, Black Owned Business Kansas City (BOBKC); photo by Taylor Wilmore, Startland News

Strengthening bonds 

In addition to business-centric activities, Willis aspires for a designated time for spiritual connection. Her vision includes a citywide worship service, uniting diverse faith communities.

“It’s just a pipe dream, but I hope to do a citywide worship service with different types of churches, but to have people come out and be almost on one accord,” Willis said. “I think that would be something that would be pretty special,” she said.

For the organizers behind the BlackBizFest, the festival represents more than just a series of events; it embodies a collective vision for a future where bonds in the Black-owned business community are forever strengthened, she said.

“One thing that I tell people all the time, you may be advertising something to someone that doesn’t need your service yet. But one day they will, and when they do, they may be a lifetime customer,” said Willis.

“That’s what I want people to leave with, see who can do it, and know where they are,” she added. “Support the lifestyle, and make sure that you truly want to do it.”


Black Owned Business In Illinois | Enjoy Illinois

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of Illinois’ one-of-a-kind Black-owned businesses to support around the state and the inspiring people that founded them. Each business is a maker in the Illinois Made program that spotlights hidden gems, owned and operated by local craftspeople, that make Illinois such a unique destination to visit.

Dominique Leach – Lexington Betty Smokehouse


Inspired by fond childhood memories of her grandmother, Betty King of Lexington, Mississippi, who filled the house with flavorful aromas of home-cooked meals, Dominique then took those aromas and applied techniques to launch a successful food truck, Lexington Betty Smoke House. Her expertise and soulful food would earn her a spot on The Food Network’s show CHOPPED and as a judge/contestant on Food Network Canada FIRE MASTERS, recognition as the “Best Barbecue in Chicago” by Good Morning America, as well as a full brick-and-mortar home for Lexington Betty on the South Side of Chicago.

Lexington Betty Smokehouse

Jana Farmer – Ms. Jana’s Candy


I started making candy as a dare. My Mom loved peanut brittle. Whenever I’d ask her what she wanted for a special gift she’d say peanut brittle. So one day over 12 years ago I decided I’d make her some. The recipe took some time to perfect… then I got really good at it.

In January of 2018, with three pots and three thermometers, I launched Ms Jana’s Candy. Today you can enjoy the exact recipe I used for the Buttery Peanut Brittle I made for my beloved mom—along with many new additions.

Ms. Jana’s Candy

D’Andre Carter – Soul & Smoke

Evanston & Avondale

At Soul & Smoke, Executive Chief D’Andre Carter pours his soul into his food because he believes barbecue is a craft worthy of devotion, time and care. He makes the food his customers want to eat, and the food he loves to cook. Carter’s wants customers to let him tend to the comfort food so they can focus on the people sharing it.

Joseph and LaShanda Lewis – The Irie Cup


The Irie Cup is a family-owned whole leaf teahouse in Huntley, IL. Steeped in the Caribbean traditions, they’ve curated a collection of premium loose leaf teas and tea accessories to create your own tea oasis. 

The term Irie is a traditional saying that many Jamaicans use in greetings and responses. Irie simply means “everything’s good” or something “good and pleasant” so when you’re drinking from the Irie Cup you’re drinking from The “Good” cup. We are big believers in whole foods and balanced nutrition. We don’t believe that wellness should be complicated and tea is no different. Our Mission is to share high-quality, responsibly sourced teas with our ever-expanding community of tea lovers as well as promote wellness through the use of natural ingredients.

The Irie Cup

Elita Selmon – Einnim Candle Bar + Apothecary

Oak Park

Einnim specialize in beautifully customized soy wax candles, goat milk soap bars, body + hair products, and much, much more. They are dedicated to providing customers with a lasting experience that will keep them coming back for more.

Einnim launched in May of 2020 as a means to help our fellow immunocompromised friends find a way to cope with the uncontrollables of society. Einnim (Minnie spelled backward) was named after a woman who knew what she wanted and knew that she deserved no less– my Bigma. What better way to celebrate her strength and resilience than by curating products with natural elements for a genuinely organic experience?

Einnim Candle Bar + Apothecary

Aria Burnside – Aria’s Cookies & Confections LLC

East Alton

Aria is now the Owner and Chief Operating Officer of Aria’s Cookies & Confections LLC in East Alton, where she crafts a unique menu that includes treats like confetti cake cupcakes and a Southern yellow butter cupcake with chocolate buttercream, plus delicious sugar, oatmeal raisin and chocolate chip cookies (also offered as a vegan variation!).

Journey Shannon – Noir d’Ébène Chocolat et Patisserie


Journey Shannon of Noir d’Ébène loves to create, build, grow, and share. Chocolate and pastries are her art forms. She’s inspired by transforming the raw ingredients of cacao nibs, flour, eggs, vanilla beans into something so edible and wonderful.

Shannon has been importing cacao beans and making chocolate from scratch — from bean to bar — since 2012. She also believes in sharing knowledge and power, which is why she created Sugar In the Class, an educational program for grade and high school age students. By learning the history of chocolate and how to make chocolate and pastries, students enhance their team building, reading, writing, math and comprehension skills.

Noir d’Ébène Chocolat et Patisserie

Alven Allison and Isis Griffin – CBPB Popcorn Shop


When business partners Alven Allison and Isis Griffin opened CBPB Popcorn Shop more than a decade ago, they were filling a void as one of the area’s first locally-owned treat shops. It didn’t take long for them to become a popular community destination. 

Sweet and simple is their motto, and hand-dipped caramel apples are their best seller. Their Champaign location makes it an ideal spot for college sports fans to pick up supplies en route to a tailgate, and their cozy shop and outstanding customer service make regular customers feel like family. They hope to expand in the future with multiple locations in town, including their existing pop-ups at the State Farm Center and Memorial Stadium during games. 

In this Daily Illini article, Griffin reflects on how the business has evolved over the past 13 years in Champaign-Urbana.

CBPB Popcorn Shop

Riley Greenwood – Riley’s Vegan Sweets & Eats


A Black female trendsetter to watch, Riley Greenwood is making impactful contributions to Peoria’s business community as a young, successful entrepreneur. 

Riley wants everyone to know that she caters to everyone – vegan, soy-free, nut-free – whatever their dietary needs. Her space at Riley’s Vegan Sweet Treats offers a cupcake and coffee lounge; in the future, she would love to expand her business to provide a vegan quick pick menu to rival national fast-food offerings.

Rick Nesbitt – Vintrendi Wine Company

Park Forest

Currently the winemaker and owner of Vintrendi Wine Company, Rick leverages two decades of sales and marketing experience in the adult beverage, packaging and event industries to run Illinois’ first Black-owned and operated winery. 

While working in sales for the area’s major liquor distributors, Mr. Nesbitt realized that consumers are often confused when they began to explore the vast world of wine. With the help of other industry friends, he established a company with a select portfolio of great tasting, easy-to-drink and approachable wines.

Vintrendi Wine Company

Jacques Shalo – Kribi Coffee Air Roasters

Forest Park

Jacques Shalo founded Kribi Coffee Air Roasters with a goal of creating a smooth coffee without the bitter taste that’s typically associated with your average cup of joe. His patented process roasts coffee in small batches with forced hot air that separates the beans from the chaff before burning.

With this unconventional, environmentally-friendly method in mind, it’s no surprise that the African American historical figure that most inspires him is George Washington Carver – an inventor and innovator known for his forward thinking.

Favorite quote: “If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But by all means, keep moving.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Kribi Coffee Air Roasters

Harreld Webster – Triple Dipple’s


Harreld Webster was on a mission to bring mouthwatering cheesecake to the small, central Illinois town of Chillicothe. Since opening Triple Dipple’s, he’s not only achieved his dream, but he’s also received the Business Pioneer Award from the Black Business Alliance. Harreld credits his inspiration to his grandfather who was also an entrepreneur but at a time where that wasn’t common for African Americans. His grandfather inspired him to strive for success even if no one thinks it should be possible.

Gloria Katusiime – Endiro Coffee


Gloria Katusiime is the owner of Endiro Coffeea complete tree-to-cup operation beginning with coffee grown by women-led cooperatives in Uganda. Endiro’s profits are dedicated to partnerships with local charities focused on ending child vulnerability in the communities of Uganda.

Gloria’s vision for Endiro Coffee is to be a company that advances justice, peace, liberty and dignity through coffee and its related products, profits, services and spaces.

Endiro Coffee

Stephanie Hart – Brown Sugar Bakery


Stephanie Hart has made Chicago a lot sweeter since opening the doors to Brown Sugar Bakery in 2004. Known for her mouthwatering signature caramel cakes, Stephanie created her bakery with the hope of helping resurface good memories, filled with love, for her patrons.

Now a James Beard-nominated baker, it’s important to Stephanie for her small business to be a beacon of hope and happiness in the community, where all walks of life can come enjoy the simple, delicious food from her African American history.

Favorite quote: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” – Shirley Chisholm

Brown Sugar Bakery

Maya-Camille Broussard – Justice of the Pies


Maya-Camille Broussard established Justice of the Pies in honor of her late father, Stephen J. Broussard. Steve, who was a criminal defense attorney with a passion for baking and eating anything made with a crust. Maya created Justice of the Pies to celebrate his love for pies and to honor his belief that everyone deserves an opportunity to reform their lives.

Justice of the Pies considers itself to be a social mission in a culinary art form. Their goal is to positively impact the lives of those who work with them. 

Erick Williams – Virtue Restaurant


Erick Williams is the owner of Virtue Restaurant – an award-winning Southern American restaurant serving hearty farm-to-table cooking paired with wines and craft cocktails in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Erick often describes his passion for cooking in the simplest context: “The search for equality is found through common ground, and sharing a meal is a universal expression of respect and dignity.”

Williams pays homage to notable African American figures such as Langston Hughes, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and civil rights firebrand Ida B. Wells throughout the restaurant’s interior – a space that has been frequented by former President Barack Obama.

Favorite quote: “If There Is No Struggle, There Is No Progress” – Frederick Douglass

Virtue Restaurant

Interested in discovering more Illinois Makers?

Learn more about the one-of-a-kind creators and artisans doing big things in every region of the state.


Black Owned Businesses, Then And Now – ECB Publishing, Inc.

Rev. Gene Hall Contributor “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.” – Proverbs 16:3 When you create a business idea and plan and share it with God, He can make sure that you accomplish it. I am willing to bet the average young person has heard of the following rappers: Jadakiss, Mos Def, Scarface, Ghostface Killer, Lil Kim, Megan Thee Stallion, Latto, Foxy Brown, Bktherula, and Da Brat. Conversely, have they heard about the historical and current status of black owned businesses? After digging through some archives, I learned via Forbes magazine that since 1976 every U.S. president has designated February Black History Month to honor the achieve


Business Owners In North Omaha Adjust To The New Way Of Business Post-Covid

Local entrepreneurs share their experience doing business post-Covid and the future they imagine for North Omaha.

  • North Omaha business district, LeFlore’s Fashions, Styles of Evolution, Ital Vital living.
  • Kay LeFlore, Donald McPherson and Imani Murray share what business is like in the North Omaha business district, post-Covid.
  • In 2020 Black-owned businesses struggled to keep their business open. Research by UC Santa Cruz found nationwide Black-owned businesses plunged at 41% compared to 17% white-owned businesses.


The North Omaha Business District… was once a gathering place for the community…there were Jazz clubs and thriving businesses.

I’m Melissa Wright, your North Omaha neighborhood reporter where now the businesses left in the area post pandemic are navigating the new way of living.

Donald McPherson, the owner of clothing store Styles of Evolution has been open 18 years. He says much of his business comes from people shopping for weddings, vacations, proms and homecomings.

“White parties especially. We don’t see that anymore…that’s something that’s tailored off,” said McPherson.

Styles of Evolution sales an array of clothes, ranging from colorful suits to even women’s clothes and accessories. But what pairs best with his shop is people.

“Everything kind of eased it’s way with the covid. The covid killed a lot of traffic… a lot of folks went under,”said McPherson.

Kay LeFlore the owner of Le Flores Fashions has been in North Omaha for 20 years. Le Flores Fashion specializes in men’s clothing.

“We only do one thing… we do men. So, we don’t have to split ourself off doing kids.. or ladies…or girls… we only do men, and as long as we do that…we’ll have steady stream of customers,” said LeFlore

LeFlore says the pandemic was a challenge for everyone..but post-Covid changed his business.

“Covid gave my customers…a break from buying for a couple years. But when covid was over…they came back with vengeance and they got their wardrobes back up to par,”

In 2020…Black-owned businesses struggled to keep their business open. Research by UC Santa Cruz…found nationwide Black owned businesses plunged at 41-percent.

Ital Vital Living owned by Imani Murray opened a brick and mortar — June 2020.

“In the start of Covid we really just focused on the website…but also what’s so convenient about this location..is that its really small but we were able to do drive-thru,” said Murray.

Business was good and covid safe when Ital Vital Living first opened.

“Its slow… just because times are hard… people are still recovering but also just the timing of everything…prices are going up, inflation,” said Murray.

In 2023… the city announced improvement plans for the North Omaha 24th street corridor. Business owners say with those improvements… they hope brings 24th back to life.

In the business district, I’m Melissa wright your north Omaha neighborhood reporter.

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Black Businesses Face Uphill Battle After Reverse Racism Ruling From Trump-Appointed Judge

Earlier this month, a federal court delivered yet another blow to government efforts to close the racial equity gap and better serve Black and brown communities.

The latest set back came by a ruling from Judge Mark Pittman that ordered the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to no longer consider race or ethnicity when deploying its services to U.S. small businesses. 

“This is not one attack, but it’s a series of attacks on the measures that the federal government has put in place to remedy,” Patrice Willoughby, senior vice president of global policy and impact at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), told theGrio.

Adobe Stock

Using the same constitutional argument the U.S. Supreme Court used to overturn race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions last year, Pittman, appointed to the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas by former President Donald Trump, said MBDA’s qualification for “disadvantaged” business owners violated the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

In other words, the judge argued the agency violated the constitutional rights of white business owners.

“While the agency’s work may help alleviate opportunity gaps faced by MBEs (minority business owners), two wrongs do not make a right,” Pittman wrote in his ruling.

Elected officials and advocates are decrying the federal court ruling, blaming a movement led by conservatives and affirmed by Republican-appointed judges that is undoing decades-long efforts to right historic wrongs that have afflicted Black and brown communities. The MBDA ruling, proponents fear, could further exacerbate existing racial disparities in ownership and wealth.

“We should really look at these as the pushback against Black economic progress,” said Willoughby, a former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus. “It’s very clear that, because discrimination continues to exist, these programs are still needed.” 

The mission of the Minority Business Development Agency is to promote the growth and competitiveness of U.S. minority-owned businesses. MBDA provides minority business owners access to capital, contracts and consulting services. Ironically, the agency was established by Republican President Richard Nixon in 1969. Under President Joe Biden, a Democrat, it became a permanent agency under federal law that expanded its reach across the country.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told theGrio that Biden is “very proud” of signing into law a permanent government status for MBDA. 

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre talks to reporters during the daily news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on March 27, 2023 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“We’ve seen 16 million applications that were started under this administration over the past three years, which is important,” the Biden spokesperson shared. “There was certainly a boost … with minority businesses starting their small businesses.”

Now that MBDA will be required by law to open its programs to white business owners, experts fear it would lead to already existing patterns of implicit or explicit racial bias and further exacerbate the racial wealth gap.

“What you will have is essentially people do business with people they like,” Willoughby explained. “They want to drive visibility for who is able to benefit underground so that there’s no oversight, no regulation, and there’s no assistance more broadly, with respect to DEI.”

Samantha Tweedy, CEO of the Black Economic Alliance, said the judge’s ruling would “result in an MBDA unable to support diverse business owners navigating an economic system that research shows is riddled with racial bias.” 

“We know that is the goal of many who seek to claw back the pathways to economic progress open to the Black community,” said Tweedy, who called on Congress and the White House to “step in to protect the vital role of the MBDA.”

To date, “reverse racism” rulings that undo race-specific programs aimed at remedying racial disparities have hit college campuses, businesses, and even Black farmers. Conservative activists have largely filed these cases, including millionaire Edward Blum, who was behind the affirmative action case before the Supreme Court. Blum is also behind a pending lawsuit against the Black female-owned Fearless Fund, arguing that its program designed to boost funding for Black women entrepreneurs is discriminatory against white-owned businesses. 

“You remove the legal framework that allows them to challenge discrimination,” Willoughby explained about the growing number of legal challenges against DEI. She said success in courts “emboldens the opponents of equity” and turns back the clock on racial progress.

“Essentially, [they] are trying to return America to what these opponents referred to as the good old days, but really were a white supremacist framework,” noted Willoughby, “which Black businesses and people of color really had very little access to the benefits of this country that other people have enjoyed.”

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According to a February 2024 report by the Brookings Institution, while Black businesses saw consecutive growth between 2017 and 2021, the number of Black-owned employer firms remains disproportionate to the number of Blacks living in the United States. In 2021, Black Americans represented only 2.7% of employers despite making up 14.4% of the population. Closing that gap, the report argues, would boost the U.S. economy and create thousands more jobs.

Looking ahead at combating the legal setbacks on DEI-related programs, Willoughby told theGrio that policymakers, researchers and litigants will have to double down on data collection and advocacy. Proponents of DEI programs will have to make “better arguments in the courts” and “firmer justification for the existence of any remedy where race is a linked with disadvantage.”

“It’s going to become a lot more important to collect the data, to document the discrimination, and to prove that the disadvantage is directly linked to race,” she said.

The current legal setbacks also reflect the fact that elections have consequences. In addition to Pittman being appointed to his judgeship by Trump, so were the three Supreme Court justices who joined the majority to strike down race-based affirmative action.

“Now that court, which is hostile to issues involving race and racial remedies, will be in operation for the next decade,” Willoughby said. 

“Voting is connected to Black progress,” she added. “Even if you are feeling disconnected, you still have to look at who has your interests at heart and vote with your pocketbook to identify the candidates that are going to shore up your participation in the economic system.”

Gerren Keith Gaynor is a White House Correspondent and the Managing Editor of Politics at theGrio. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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Nearly 40 Restaurants Participating In Richmond Black Restaurant Experience Week

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – Nearly 40 restaurants are participating in this year’s Richmond Black Restaurant Experience Week, and one of them is M&F Jamaican Cafe. It’s one of the few Jamaican restaurants in the river city. The owner, Marie Aiken and her family tell 12 On Your Side that this week always helps boost business, and they are excited to be a part of the Richmond Black Restaurant Experience again.

M&F Jamaican Cafe is one of many participating in Richmond Black Restaurant Experience(WWBT)

“We cook authentic Jamaican cuisine. We’re most famous for our jerk chicken, which is cooked on the grill,” said Marie Aiken.

Customers tell 12 On Your Side that the small, locally owned, community aspect of the restaurant is what originally attracted them.

“The owner and her son, they’re very nice,” said a customer, Suzette Carter.

Being a part of the black restaurant experience week gets smaller, locally black owned businesses a chance to be seen. Tammy Adams, new to the restaurant – said she’s a business owner as well, so she knows first hand how important it is to support local.

“You gotta support each other, you gotta bring everybody up and support goes along way – if it’s not the free support of just sharing the great experience of all to coming to be a patron on the inside,” said Tammy Adams.

The Black Restaurant Experience kicks off Sunday with Mobile Soul Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. It’s where food trucks gather at Monroe Park to share not only their food – but their passion for cooking authentic meals.

For more information about Richmond Black Restaurant Experience Week, click here.

Copyright 2024 WWBT. All rights reserved.


Minority Business Agency Accused Of Reverse Racism, Ordered To Serve White Businesses Too

Source: Education Images / Getty

In today’s episode of White Fragility Ruins Everything, a government agency that was created some 50 years ago to aid the development of minority-owned businesses has been ordered by a federal judge in Texas to stop being reverse-racist against white business owners by doing what the agency was created to do, which is lend its aid where it’s needed most.

From USA Today:

Siding with white business owners who sued the Minority Business Development Agency for discrimination, Judge Mark T. Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas said the agency’s mission to help disadvantaged businesses owned by Black, Hispanic and other racial and ethnic groups gain access to capital and contracts violates the rights of all Americans to receive equal protection under the constitution.

“If courts mean what they say when they ascribe supreme importance to constitutional rights, the federal government may not flagrantly violate such rights with impunity. The MBDA has done so for years. Time’s up,” Pittman, who was named to the federal bench by former President Donald Trump, wrote in a 93-page decision.

Pittman directed the Nixon-era agency to overhaul its programs in a potential blow to other government efforts that cater to historically disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups.

It would be nice if these conservative cowards had the courage to be honest about what they’re doing here: preserving white supremacy and calling it equality. Truthfully, for all things to be equal between racial groups in America, they would need to have always been equal.

Instead, for the overwhelming majority of America’s existence, only white people had full access to the so-called “American dream.” Republican legislators would have you believe it’s all some great coincidence that the only racial group that, for generation upon generations, was allowed to work, start business and build generational wealth unfettered by things like slavery, Jim Crow and other legally sanctioned forms of racial discrimination is also the same racial group that dominates every major industry in the country. They want you to believe America’s white supremacist history has nothing to do with the fact that Black and Hispanic-owned businesses are statistically less prevalent, less rich in resources, and ultimately less successful than white-owned businesses, which “made up the greatest share of classifiable firms (85%) and their revenue (93%) in 2021,” according to the Pew Research Center.

They won’t allow white-owned businesses to employ DEI initiatives, and they won’t allow minority-owned businesses to get any help that isn’t “equally” extended to white-owned businesses whether they need it or not.

Last September, the Fearless Fund, a venture capital firm founded by and largely run by two Black women, Arian Simone and Ayana Parsons, was barred from offering a grant program exclusively to entrepreneurial Black and brown women after the firm was sued by a salty white anti-affirmative action organization that took umbrage with people of color doing positive things for their own communities.

Just last month, Caucasian conservatives lost their white-and-fragile minds after North Las Vegas’ Black mayor announced the city would be hosting its first Black-owned business fair during Black History Month.

This isn’t about anti-white discrimination, and it certainly isn’t about equality; it’s about the racial resentment of white conservatives whose fragility flairs up as a response to any and all attempts at correcting the effects of America’s long and deep history of systematically discriminating against everyone except white people.

In fact, Justice Department lawyers who represented the MBDA pointed a lot of these truths out in their argument and even indicated that white business owners can access the agency’s services too so long as they are “socially or economically disadvantaged,” but to no avail.

More from USA Today:

They argued in court filings that the agency’s services are available to any socially or economically disadvantaged business owner. They also pointed to decades of evidence showing that certain groups suffered – and continue to suffer – social and economic disadvantages that stunt “their ability to participate in America’s free enterprise system.”

Alphonso David, president and CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum, said the court’s decision acknowledged this disadvantage.

“Despite this recognition, the court somehow argues that a program created to remedy this discrimination must be dismantled. That makes no sense,” David said in a statement.


Indy Named One Of The Best For Black-Owned Businesses

WRTV’s Griffin Gonzalez shows us how Black-owned businesses are seeing success in central Indiana.

INDIANAPOLIS — 2023 was a record setting year for Indianapolis’s black owned businesses.

“Black business in the city is buzzing,” shared owner of Capture Fitness Earl Sims.

“A lot of good black businesses are out here.”


Capture Fitness is located in Fountain Square

Sims, an Indianapolis native has always had a deep passion for fitness which lead him to open a gym that fits his preferred style of training.

“Capture fitness is one of one. It’s a strength conditioning company that I started myself,” shared Sims.

“We do keep everything pretty intimate here, so all of our group sessions, probably about two to 10 people, just like keep an eye on everybody. It’s just everybody by name, make sure everybody is safe and not improperly pushing themselves,” Sims added.


Capure Fitness Dumbells

Sims is part of a black owned business group that grew to new heights in 2023.

According to a report by the app Yelp, Indianapolis saw a 59% growth of black owned businesses in 2023.

That rate placed 3rd behind Milwaukee and Richmond, VA.

“Black folks that had ideas and concepts were sitting at home during the pandemic,” shared Indianapolis Deputy Mayor Judith Thomas.

Thomas shared that The Office of Minority and Women Business Development deserves much of the credit for the latest numbers.

“Seeing other folks on social media, taking their businesses, their ideas to the next level,” Thomas added.

Despite the growth, black owned businesses still only account for 3% of the total business in the city.

“To keep moving forward is what the focus is,” shared Thomas. “We have some young people out here with some great ideas and concepts that really need to make sure they’re engaged with the right folks in the right systems.”

To learn more about how you can support minority lead business, you can visit the Office of Minority and Women Business Development website.

Additional information about Capture Fitness can be found on their website.

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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