celebrate-women’s-history-month-with-new-additions-to-our-little-free(dom)-libraries

Celebrate Women’s History Month With New Additions To Our Little Free(Dom) Libraries

Article published on March 1, 2024

We’ve added new books and a new Little Free(dom) Library location for Women’s History Month…

Exciting news! Due to the success of our Little Free(dom) Library initiative, Visit Philadelphia is extending the campaign — which makes banned books available to residents and visitors for free —  by incorporating banned books by women authors in honor of Women’s History Month.

Initially launched in February 2024 to highlight banned books by Black authors during Black History Month, the Little Free(dom) Library project is part of Visit Philadelphia’s In Pursuit of A More Perfect Union series, showcasing Philadelphia as the nation’s premier welcoming and inclusive destination.

The Little Free(dom) Library project is presented in partnership with Little Free Library and the Free Library of Philadelphia, which provides resources on their site to help protect everyone’s right to read.

Through the Little Free(dom) Library initiative, residents and visitors can pick up a free banned book at one of 14 locations throughout the city. Among them: the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Betsy Ross House, Franklin Square, Eastern State Penitentiary, the Johnson House Historic Site and — newly added — Queen & Rook Game Cafe.

The initiative launched with a dozen titles and 1,500 books in total. New for Women’s History Month, the selections now include two more books written by women authors (in bold):

  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • All American Boys by Jason Reynolds
  • All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Feminism is for Everybody by bell hooks
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall
  • Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Don’t just grab a book and go, though! Before or after visiting a Little Free(dom) Library, stop into nearby Black-owned and woman-owned businesses to browse, shop or grab a bite to eat. We’ve listed a few Black-owned and women-owned businesses within a short walk or drive of each location.

Note: Locations in this piece are arranged alphabetically.

— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Did Betsy Ross make the first American flag or not? Ask her yourself when you visit the iconic home of America’s most famous seamstress. Chat with Betsy to hear about the history of the flag and her interaction with George Washington as you explore the tiny rooms and tight staircases of her 1740s abode.

How to find the library 

The library is located near the admissions desk. Enter through the gift shop.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Fork: At the center of James Beard Award-winning restaurateur Ellen Yin’s culinary empire, Fork has been an Old City mainstay for more than 25 years — and for good reason. The crowd-pleasing menu features fresh ingredients, delectable small plates and hearty main dishes (306 Market Street, a five-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Moore Vintage Archive: Fresh on the Fabric Row scene, Moore Vintage Archive is the place where you can find vintage Chanel, Gucci, Hermes and more women’s designer fashion. Owner Keesean Moore stocks the shop with timeless dresses, jackets, sets and books from Black authors  (725 S. 4th Street, a seven-minute drive).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

This community-focused outpost of the national nonprofit organization is located along North Broad Street amid the sprawling urban campus of Temple University. In addition to fitness facilities and gymnasiums, the location is home to several youth development programs for local kids and teens.

How to find the library

The library is located in the entrance lobby.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Cicala at the Divine Lorraine: Co-owner and pastry chef Angela Cicala created this elegant Italian restaurant with her chef-husband Joe. Inside the renovated Divine Lorraine building, Cicala bakes a heavenly assortment of traditional cookies and pastries from recipes inherited from her mother and grandmother (699 N. Broad Street, a 13-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • New Barber’s Hall: It’s a Cecil B. Moore institution. In a 19th-century cycling clubhouse and 20th-century music hotspot where John Coltrane, Grover Washington, Jr. and The Temptations performed, this bar and event space owned by Jake Adams serves lunch, dinner and drinks. Don’t forget to warm up those pipes for karaoke on Wednesdays and Fridays (1402 W. Oxford Street, a four-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, the massive Eastern State Penitentiary operated from 1829 to 1970 and introduced Americans to the concept of prison as a reform (penitentiary for “penance”) tool. Today, the site — which once housed notorious criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton — offers self-guided tours that explore the attraction’s history, along with modern social justice issues that surround incarceration.

How to find the library

The library is located at the entrance to the penitentiary.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Safi Skinsentials: Safi Brown, whose name means “pure and sincere friend” in Arabic, knows what it’s like to struggle with acne. At her facial studio, the licensed skin therapist provides customizable solutions for clients specializing in facials, LED therapy, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and dermaplaning (1517 W. Girard Avenue, a five-minute drive).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Coffee Cream & Dreams: Travelers and locals love this charming spot, where every customer feels right at home with simple pleasures like fresh zucchini bread, chocolate croissants, caffeinated concoctions and sandwiches like the turkey sausage, egg and cheese on brioche (1436 Fairmount Avenue, a 13-minute walk).
  • Retro Rewind Vintage & Thrift: After operating as a mobile boutique, Retro Rewind Vintage & Thrift opened a brick-and-mortar store in Brewerytown. (You can’t miss its neon yellow facade.) Founded by Tia Whitfield, the shop stocks both women’s and men’s fashions, from blazers and dresses to denim and T-shirts (2804 W. Girard Avenue, a five-minute drive).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Faheem Alexander has taken the barbering world by storm with his hands of precision. At it for over 25 years now, he’s known for his expertise in styling, hairline correction and beard grooming. Faheem has worked on many celebrity clients, including Tracy Morgan and Philadelphia’s favorite hip-hop group, The Roots.

How to find the library

The library is located just inside the entrance of the barbershop.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Miss Rachel’s Pantry: At her South Philly storefront, owner-chef Rachel Klein typically offers popular multi-course vegan meals on select evenings, plus private parties for up to 20 guests if you want a sit-down five-course delight or for up to 26 people for grazing, family-style cocktail parties (1938 S. Chadwick Street, a nine-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Kellijane: Kelly Monk’s South Philly home decor shop is designed to feel like a sanctuary, and her rich fabrics and textiles can transform any home to feel the same way. Either make an appointment or stop by if you’re in the neighborhood (1415 S. Broad Street, a six-minute drive).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

The diverse staff and board members of the Frankford Community Development Corporation work to spur development and economic activity in lower Northeast Philadelphia, with a focus on affordable housing and sustainable uses for public space. Housed inside the historic Daral Building, the organization is celebrating its 30th anniversary with plans to further transform empty and unused buildings and parcels in the district.

How to find the library

The library is located in the building’s vestibule area.  On nice days, it will be set up in the outdoor space at Frankford Pause Park.

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Dezzy’s Jamaican & American Restaurant: Jamaican delicacies — including jerk chicken, oxtail, and sides like steamed cabbage and macaroni and cheese — are on the menu at this popular spot along Frankford Avenue (4945 Frankford Avenue, a seven-minute walk).      

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Franklin Square, one of five public squares laid out by William Penn in his original plan for Philadelphia, offers a refreshing, urban green space with a ton of awesome activities within its eight-acre grounds. The park regularly hosts pop ups with The African American Museum in Philadelphia and is home to a Once Upon a Nation Storytelling Bench in the warmer months.

How to find the library

The library is located outside of the ticket sales building, to the right.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • El Merkury at the Market: Expect Central American street food with a modern twist at Sofia Deleon’s El Merkury. What began as pop-up events and catering grew into a brick-and-mortar shop in Rittenhouse Square and this fan-favorite stall in Reading Terminal Market. Owner-chef Deleon is famous for her made-to-order churro sundaes with creamy soft serve and delectable toppings (El Merkury, Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street, a 12-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • De’Village: Stone and wooden jewelry, artwork, fabric, sculptures and more from Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria are on offer at this Reading Terminal Market stand owned by Watson and Joycelyn Parks. (De’Village, Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street, a 12-minute walk).
  • Little Marrakesh Bazaar: Showcasing the goods of owner Chakir Bouchaid’s home country, Little Marrakesh Bazaar is Reading Terminal Market’s destination for Moroccan handcrafted gifts. In his booth, find intricately designed home goods (like mirrors and spice jars), leather bags and turquoise jewelry (Little Marrakesh Bazaar, Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th Street, a 12-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Historic Germantown is a partnership of 18 historic homes, museums and destinations in Northwest Philadelphia, including the Johnson House Historic Site (see more below), Cliveden and the Lest We Forget Slavery Museum. The organization is housed inside the beautiful, red-brick Germantown Historical Society building, which is also home to a museum and library dedicated to the neighborhood’s rich history.

How to find the library

The library is located just outside of the front entrance during business hours.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • 3rd Element Spa: Proving sisters make the best small business partners, owners Tomika Branch and Chyvonne Shackelford established their full-service day spa in West Oak Lane. Popular here: hydrating facials, gel manicures, detox pedicures, plus waxing, lash and brow enhancements, massages and self-care products, including 3rd Element candles and body cleansers (7175 Ogontz Avenue, a 12-minute drive).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books: Owner Marc Lamont Hill’s Germantown hangout exudes community pride in its book selection and living-room vibe, a la Washington DC’s acclaimed Busboys and Poets chain. This bibliophile’s spot takes its name from the columnist and Temple University prof’s favorite uncle, who nurtured his love of reading (5445 Germantown Avenue, a one-minute walk).
  • Ubuntu Fine Art Gallery: This fine art photo gallery showcases the work of its founder and owner Steven CW Taylor. Displayed prints of Taylor’s work immerses visitors and encourages them to interact with the places and people Taylor has photographed during the course of his travels. Each print comes with care instructions and a certificate of authenticity (5423 Germantown Avenue, an 18-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

The official visitor center of Independence National Historical Park serves as a one-stop shop for maps, brochures, tickets and tour information. The center — also home to a welcome film, a digital interactive wall and stunning views of Independence Mall — is a stone’s throw away from some of the most popular attractions in Philly, including The President’s House, The African American Museum in Philadelphia and the National Constitution Center.

How to find the library

The library is located next to the visitor information desk.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Talula’s Garden: Known for gracious hospitality and killer cheese plates, Aimee Olexy is a farm-to-table trailblazer, opening Talula’s Table in Kennett Square in 2007 before expanding with business partner Stephen Starr to open the dreamy Talula’s Garden in Washington Square (210 W. Washington Square).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Philadelphia Diamond Company: Custom engagement and wedding rings, one-of-a-kind pieces and gemologist-certified appraisals are the reason clients call ahead to book appointments at this Old City jewelry shop, owned by Ken and Nicole Black (421 Chestnut Street, a five-minute walk).
  • Amina: One of the newest restaurants in Philadelphia’s historic Old City neighborhood, Amina brings a healthy dose of Southern food — complete with a dash of Nigerian influence — to the city’s restaurant scene (104 Chestnut Street, a 12-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

A crucial part of the Colonial Germantown Historic District, this site attained a National Historic Landmark designation for its role in the Underground Railroad. Tours offer visitors an opportunity to learn about the injustices of slavery and the 19th-century resident Johnson family, who participated in the Underground Railroad and risked their lives offering refuge to freedom seekers. Among the freedom fighters who stayed here: William Still and, according to family lore, Harriet Tubman.

How to find the library

The library is located just inside the front entrance, to the right.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • All the Way Live Cafe: On the menu at this raw food/vegan cafe run by a mother/daughter duo: nut burgers, quinoa salads, chickpea chili and more (6108 Germantown Avenue, a four-minute walk).
  • Dolly’s Boutique & Consignment: The stylish set loves that this shop — owned by Shani Newton — carries women’s clothing for all sizes (small through triple extra-large), ages and budgets. On the racks: pant sets, stylish separates, maxi dresses and on-point accessories (6778 Germantown Avenue, a four-minute drive).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • The Movement Philly: Founded by friends (and former business competitors) Aaron Johnson and Bruce Tabbs, The Movement Philly specializes in handmade clothing, T-shirts, tie-dye, jewelry and vegan bath and beauty products. The Mt. Airy shop was featured in a “Buying Black” segment on Philly’s Fox 29 TV station in 2020 (7133 Germantown Avenue, a five-minute drive). 

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

The brightest light on the Avenue of the Arts is the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, a dazzling regional performing arts center whose discreet brick exterior rises to a bold 150-foot glass vaulted rooftop for startling views of the city — one of the many venues that make up Ensemble Arts. Resident companies include the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, PHILADANCO, Opera Philadelphia, Philadelphia Ballet and the Curtis Institute of Music.

How to find the library

The library is located in Commonwealth Plaza inside the lobby of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Vedge: Pioneering plant-based cuisine before plant-based cuisine was cool, chef Kate Jacoby opened Vedge alongside her husband, chef Rich Landau, in 2011. The Philly native is a James Beard Award semifinalist (2014-2016) for Outstanding Pastry Chef and churns out palate-zinging fare, homemade ice creams and can’t-miss pies (1221 Locust Street, a six-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Good Karma Cafe: This Center City favorite has kept owner Shawn Nesbit busy since opening in 2008. The brand serves up fair trade and certified organic coffee made with rich flavors, as well as small bites and sandwiches (265 N. Broad Street, a one-minute walk).
  • Common Ground: This Midtown Village consigner owned by Phillip Moore offers exclusive collectible sneakers and vintage pieces — Adidas x Bad Bunny, retro Air Jordans — and features rare, sold-out merch from prominent sportswear brands like Supreme and Bape (134 S. 11th Street, a 12-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, founded by Bishop Richard Allen in 1794, sits on the oldest parcel of land continuously owned by African Americans, and is the mother church of the nation’s first Black denomination. Today, Mother Bethel is a church (where the congregation worships weekly), museum and archive. The museum houses the tomb of Bishop Richard Allen and artifacts dating to the 1600s, tracing the history of the AME Church. Reservations are required for museum tours.

How to find the library

The library is located inside the church’s lecture hall. The Little Free(dom) Library at Mother Bethel AME Church is only available Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as well as Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Le Caveau: After Chloe Grigri and her dad Bernard opened French brasserie The Good King Tavern, she upped the neighborhood cool factor with the debut of Le Caveau in 2019, wasting no time becoming a James Beard Award favorite, earning a semifinalist nod for Outstanding Wine Program in 2019, and a 2023 semifinalist nomination in the Outstanding Bar category (614 S. 7th Street, a five-minute walk).
  • Yowie: What first began as a home and lifestyle shop in 2016 has now blossomed into a boutique hotel, shop and design studio, founded by Shannon Maldonado. The Queen Village cafe and storefront, is stocked with design-forward home goods, jewelry, books and apparel. The hotel is an extension of the shop, with Maldonado’s keen eye for style and design carried through each of the 15 suites (226 South Street, a 10-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • South Street Art Mart: What began as a holiday pop-up shop turned into a permanent fixture on South Street. South Street Art Mart, curated by co-owners Nicole Krecicki and Nicole Wiegand, carries works of art, jewelry, zines, pins and so much more from over 180 Philly-area artists and makers (530 S. 4th Street, a six-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

One of the nation’s largest art institutions, the Philadelphia Museum of Art rises majestically at the end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Inside are vast galleries, highlighting Renaissance, American and impressionist art, plus rotating special exhibitions.

How to find the library

The library is located at the west entrance of the museum. Inquire at the admission desk for more information.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Jezabel’s Argentine Cafe & Bakery: Multitalented chef-owner Jezabel Careaga makes stellar empanadas, alfajores and other Argentine specialties at her West Philly cafe and bakery (206 S. 45th Street, a 13-minute drive).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Arterial Coffee: Sharaine and Sharla Brown’s introduction to coffee came in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica, where the sisters would help their grandmother pick coffee cherries. Fast forward to 2021, when the Browns opened this cozy establishment specializing in locally sourced coffees, teas and small bites (3100 Spring Garden Street, a 14-minute walk).
  • Butter’s Soul Food To Go: This charming Brewerytown soul food eatery got its name because its food is so good, it melts in your mouth. Fried wings and sides sell out fast, and home-baked cakes and pies come straight from the oven of owner Kevin Bell’s mother (2730 W. Girard Avenue, a five-minute drive).

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Queen & Rook — Photo by Neal Santos for Visit Philadelphia

Roll the dice at Queen & Rook Game Cafe, the Queen Village board game cafe run by Jeannie Wong and Edward Garcia. The super-fun spot’s game selection runs the gamut from classics to indie games made by locals. Also available: puzzles, collectible game cards and more. Pro tip: While you’re there, sample the plant-based cafe menu, which includes fried cauliflower and Beyond meat burgers.

How to find the library

The library is located just inside the entrance of the cafe.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Aurora Grace Chocolates: At Aurora Wold’s corner confectionery in Queen Village, you’ll find her beautiful hand-painted chocolates alongside French macarons and freshly baked pastries (517 S. 5th Street, an eight-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Atomic City Comics: Owned by Michael Yates and Darryl Jones, this classic comic book store, known for its wide selection of comics, graphic novels, manga, back issues, horror, sci-fi and old-school arcade games such as Street Fighter, has been a South Street mainstay since 2001 (638 South Street, a five-minute walk).

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— Photo by Visit Philadelphia

Once home to the legendary punk-rock store Zipperhead, this spot on South Street now houses the offices for the South Street Headhouse District. Its facade — covered in enormous ant sculptures and a giant faux zipper — makes the building hard to miss. Pop inside to learn about South Street businesses new and old and check out rotating exhibitions that explore the history of the eclectic neighborhood.

How to find the library

The library is located just inside the mosaic-ed entryway, to the left.

Women-owned businesses nearby

  • Eyes Gallery: Founded by artists Isaiah and Julia Zagar in 1968, the Eyes Gallery specializes in Latin American crafts, folk art, textiles and exotic jewelry from Mexico, Peru, Haiti and elsewhere in South America and the Caribbean (327 South Street, a one-minute walk).
  • Bridget Foy’s: Serving Philadelphia since 1978, this South Street favorite is now run by its namesake. Bridget Foy took over for parents John and Bernadette in 2021. The spot serves a menu of classic bar favorites (think: wings, burgers and shareable snacks) and healthy options like roasted Atlantic salmon and a veggie-loaded grain bowl (200 South Street, a five-minute walk).

Black-owned businesses nearby

  • Black and Nobel: More than a bookstore, this cultural center owned by Hakim Hopkins offers DVDs and an array of health and wellness products in a creative atmosphere. The shop also ships to prisons, offering incarcerated folks reading materials (422 South Street, a two-minute walk).

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Social Media Video Series

The Little Free(dom) Library initiative also includes a four-part social media video series with notable Philadelphians like Marc Lamont Hill, Dr. Christina Afia Harris and Solomon Jones reading passages from banned books. Videos will be released once a week beginning on February 8, 2024.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by Geroge M. Johnson

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story by Nikole Hannah-Jones

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Video Series

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inside-the-black-business-boom-that’s-reshaping-america’s-economic-landscape

Inside The Black Business Boom That’s Reshaping America’s Economic Landscape

In recent years, Black-owned businesses have grown at the fastest pace in over 30 years, marking a pivotal moment in the journey to economic equity. And while the recent surge in Black-owned businesses is a testament to the resilience and innovation of Black entrepreneurs, common-sense policy and empowering resources are needed to help them thrive.

This economic renaissance is deeply rooted in our people’s spirit. In the Black community, there is an inherent excitement about entrepreneurship and creating something of your own. At the beginning of the pandemic, Black-owned businesses were closing twice as fast as other businesses. However, they remarkably bounced back even faster, opening 28% more businesses than pre-pandemic.

Black-owned businesses in the U.S. are major contributors to the economy, generating $206 billion in annual revenue and supporting 3.56 million U.S. jobs. Many of these businesses are federal contractors and many more are in a good position to become contractors. A recent Reimagine Main Street survey revealed that diverse-owned small businesses have significant capacity for contracting with one in three (33%) respondents generating at least $1 million in annual revenue and almost half (48%) generating at least 50% of their revenue from contracting. Our success is a catalyst for change, driving economic growth and fostering a more inclusive business environment. If we were to close the racial wealth gap by 2028, we could add $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. By supporting Black-owned businesses, we’re investing in a more prosperous and equitable future for all.

While the economic contributions of Black-owned businesses are significant, it’s important to recognize that these achievements have not come easily. Black entrepreneurs apply for business loans at a higher rate, yet we are receiving funding at a much lower rate compared to white entrepreneurs. Studies show that Black entrepreneurs are three times more likely than white entrepreneurs to report that access to financial capital negatively impacts their profits.

The path to success for Black entrepreneurs is often paired with challenges and systemic barriers. I had very limited access to capital at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey 18 years ago. Even though I did everything by the book and had strong business numbers, I continued receiving rejections. Despite our substantial contributions, our businesses often remain underappreciated and face hurdles that are not as prevalent in other communities.

Black businesses thrive when we are supported by legislation designed to help us succeed. Policies such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act don’t just fund projects to repair our country’s crumbling roads and bridges but also include provisions to help Black businesses. The Minority Business Development Agency is now permanent within the federal government which has been pivotal, providing technical assistance and capital for Black-owned businesses.

The expanded Child Tax Credit included in the American Rescue Plan was a game-changer for Black small business owners and their employees. Child poverty rates for Black children dropped by 17.1%. The credit helped restart our workforce as parents were able to pay for reliable childcare so they could have a stable schedule at work. It also gave consumers more money to spend at local small businesses. It undoubtedly gave some Black entrepreneurs the financial stability required to launch a business. It’s part of the reason why I support the legislation that brings back the Child Tax Credit for lower-income families.

However, it will take more than policy to ensure success for Black business owners. Mentorship within our community is essential. I would not be where I am without it. My journey began by working in a print shop in my community at the age of 13. Mentored and inspired by my Black boss’ work ethic, I started my own business at 14 making flyers for friends, which evolved into my current marketing firm years later. Learning from someone who looked like me helped mold me into the entrepreneur I am today.

Consumers should also play a role in intentionally seeking out and supporting Black-owned businesses, whether it’s for everyday purchases or larger investments–not just during Black History Month or on Juneteenth but all year long. Major corporations can create or participate in programs that provide financial assistance and resources tailored to the needs of Black entrepreneurs.

As we reflect on the achievements of Black entrepreneurs, we must also look to the future. The Black business boom is evidence of what we can achieve with the right resources and support in place. It’s a reminder of the ongoing need for policies and systems that foster an inclusive and thriving business environment for Black entrepreneurs.

By supporting Black entrepreneurship, we are investing in a future that is rich in diversity, innovation, and economic prosperity for all.

Shaundell Newsome is the visionary and founder of Sumnu Marketing, a co-chair of Small Business for America’s Future, and a Vegas Chamber trustee. He was Nevada’s 2023 Statewide Entrepreneurial Spirit Awardee of the Year, the SBA Small Business Champion of the Year in 2008 and he won SBA Nevada Family Owned Business of the Year in 2015.

More must-read commentary published by Fortune:

  • Here’s how the U.S., Europe, and China are faring in the post-pandemic race for economic growth

  • Global trade is at a critical juncture–and we can’t take it for granted, WTO meeting chair warns

  • Boeing is shaking up its ‘good ole boys’ culture–but the company still has a long way to go before it gets its production and financials right

  • The anti-DEI movement has gone from fringe to mainstream. Here’s what that means for corporate America

The opinions expressed in Fortune.com commentary pieces are solely the views of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of Fortune.

This story was originally featured on Fortune.com

harris-promises-50%-increase-goal-in-contracts-for-minority-businesses

Harris Promises 50% Increase Goal In Contracts For Minority Businesses

Vice President Kamala Harris, during remarks on a trip to North Carolina, said the Biden administration is on track to meet its goal of increasing federal contracts for minority-owned businesses by 50%. 

It was Harris’ 10th visit to Durham, North Carolina since becoming vice president, she told a group that gathered as she met with representatives for the venture capital program NC Invest.

“Not everyone has access to opportunity, but when provided with opportunity the talent is there, the capacity is there, the drive is there, the ambition is there, and growth, and economic growth results. So, that is the math in terms of what we are talking about,” Harris told the group

Vice President Harris was there to announce that the Biden administration would be injecting a new $92 million to be used mainly for early-stage startups in North Carolina. NC Invest focuses on growing small businesses. 

“The president and I from the beginning of our administration made a pledge which we are on track to meet, to increase by 50% federal contracts going to minority-owned businesses,” the vice president said. 

“It makes economic and financial sense for us to do this work, because yes, the bottom line, in economic terms, is that this produces an extraordinary return on investment. And that investment is as much as any other reason why we are doing this work together with our partners,” Harris said. 

Sevetri Wilson Taylor, the founder of Resilia and the CEO of Propserall, told Scripps News, “Black founders continuously need to be funded, and they need Black fund managers to step up to the plate,” when talking about startups in tech. 

According to U.S. government data, in the last year, “Americans across the country and in a wide range of industries filed a record 5 1/2 million new business applications, bringing the total number under this administration to a record-breaking 16 million.”

Census Bureau data shows that Black-owned businesses increased by around 13% between 2017 to 2020. Between 2017 and 2021, their revenues jumped by 43%. 

these-amazing-black-owned-haircare-brands-will-help-with-all-your-styling-needs

These Amazing Black-Owned Haircare Brands Will Help With All Your Styling Needs

56 Black-Owned Haircare Brands to WatchCourtesy

“Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links.”

After decades of customers calling for more natural haircare products designed specifically for kinky, curly hair textures, a powerful shift is underway. In recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of so many new Black-owned haircare brands. Pioneers such as Shea Moisture and Carol’s Daughter have been joined by Black-owned haircare companies like Pattern Beauty, Grace Eleyae and many more in offering an inclusive array of products catering to all hair types.

Ahead, we’ve rounded up 56 Black-owned hair products to shop right now (and always). We’ve included a range of product categories here to address all kinds of hair issues, including hair masks, scalp exfoliators, weave extensions, shampoo, conditioners and serums, from companies like Bread Beauty Supply, Mielle Organics, Girl+Hair and Hairbrella that are making waves in the Black beauty market.

Of course, there are so many great Black-owned businesses to shop, across lifestyle sectors from beauty to fashion. After shopping these Black-owned hair products, you can discover more new brands to try by checking out our favorite categories:

Black-owned brands on Amazon | Black-owned clothing brands | Black-owned soap companies | Black-owned gift ideas

Alaffia

Popular product to check out: EveryDay Shea Shampoo and Conditioner, $35

Olowo-n’djo Tchala met and fell in love with Prairie Rose Hyde, and the two created Alaffia, which seeks to give back through empowerment projects. The line uses natural ingredients, and the products are vegan. The EveryDay Shea Shampoo and Conditioner is for normal to very dry hair. It cleanses, moisturizes and protects with the help of shea butter. Alaffia is also a Good Housekeeping Sustainable Packaging Award winner.

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amazon.com

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GIRL+HAIR

Popular product to check out: Moisturizing Leave-In Conditioner, $16

Created by dermatologist Camille Verovic after a “big chop,” Girl+Hair is designed to provide nourishing, healthy vitamins to damaged hair. This leave-in uses shea butter and tea tree oil to promote a healthy, clean scalp.

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GIRL+HAIR

amazon.com

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Sienna Naturals

Popular product to check out: Wash Day Duo, $46

After noticing textured haircare lines riddled with harsh chemicals, sisters-in-law Issa Rae and Hannah Diop co-founded Sienna Naturals with a clean, earth-friendly ethos in mind. Featuring the likes of aloe vera juice, coconut and baobab oil, the pair’s shampoo and conditioner wash day duo are meant to infuse hydration and moisture into all texture types.

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Sienna Naturals

siennanaturals.com

$46.00

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Sienna Naturals

siennanaturals.com

$46.00

Frederick Benjamin

Popular product to check out: Crown Control, Curl & Twist Cream, $14

Named after his grandfather Frederick Benjamin, founder Michael James developed his grooming line to help Black men struggling with dry scalps and razor bumps. Included in his collection is the Crown Control Curl & Twist Cream formulated to hold hair like gel, while offering a lightweight, water-based feel.

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Frederick Benjamin

amazon.com

$13.93

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Frederick Benjamin

amazon.com

$13.93

Cecred

Popular product to check out: Reconstructing Treatment Mask, $42

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter needs no introduction in the world of entertainment, but she’s carving out a new path in beauty with the launch of her Cécred haircare line. Built in collaboration with her mother, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé created this collection inspired by what she learned growing up in her salon, and paired it with science-backed results. The reconstructing treatment mask is designed to help repair hair damage from heat, chemicals or coloring with nourishing antioxidants, vitamin E and a cuticle-sealing oil.

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Cecred

cecred.com

$42.00

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Donna’s Recipe

Popular product to check out: Sweet Potato Pie Hair Cream, $16

Just like the popular vegan recipes Tabitha Brown shares on her social platforms, the multi-hyphenate’s haircare line features plant-based ingredients that are just as nutritious for coarse and textured hair types. Case in point: The brand’s sweet potato pie hair cream. It’s made with sweet potatoes, vanilla and cinnamon for a lightweight, smooth feel to define and moisturize curls.

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Donna’s Recipe

target.com

$15.99

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OurX

Popular product to check out: Hydrating Shampoo, $24

Ceci Kurzman launched OurX in 2021 to give Black women with 3A to 4C textures an all-encompassing scalp and haircare routine. For hair wash day, the brand’s hydrating shampoo not only refreshes strands, but it’s also formulated to balance the scalp, lock in shine and moisture and promote growth.

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OurX

amazon.com

$24.00

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SUNDAY II SUNDAY

Popular product to check out: ROOT REFRESH Micellar Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar, $31

For those living active lifestyles, Keenan Beasley and his SUNDAY II SUNDAY team have designed haircare products that will help you maintain your look in-between washes. Take this ROOT REFRESH Micellar Rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar, for example. It’s a water-based dry shampoo substitute formulated to clean your scalp.

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SUNDAY II SUNDAY

sephora.com

$31.00

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SUNDAY II SUNDAY

sephora.com

$31.00

Melanin Haircare

Popular product to check out: Plumping Deep Conditioner, $32

Sisters Whitney and Taffeta White teamed up in 2015 to share non-toxic, budget-friendly haircare with the masses. Their reparative, plumping deep conditioner has ingredients like bamboo extract and hyaluronic acid to soften hair and seal in moisture.

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Melanin Haircare

sephora.com

$32.00

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Melanin Haircare

sephora.com

$32.00

Adwoa Beauty

Popular product to check out: Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo, $12

Daughter to a Ghanaian father and Liberian mother, Julian Addo’s Adwoa Beauty brand was born out of her love for African hair and beauty, as well as design, marketing and arts from her career in brand and media consulting. To usher in a more accurate portrayal of multicultural beauty, she creates sleek products that won’t dry out textured hair. The Baomint Moisturizing Shampoo has aloe vera juice and essential oils designed to cleanse without stripping hair.

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Adwoa Beauty

sephora.com

$12.00

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Luster’s Pink

Popular product to check out: Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion, $9

The Luster’s Pink legacy dates back to the mid-1950s with formulas developed by founder Fred Luster, Sr. for clients at his Chicago, Illinois, barbershop. Today, you can find just as popular products, like the brand’s oil moisturizer hair lotion that’s loaded with vitamin E and provitamin B5 to revive and condition damaged hair.

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Luster’s Pink

walmart.com

$9.62

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Briogeo Scalp Revival Rosemary Pre-Wash Scalp and Hair Oil 3.4 fl. oz. / 100 mL

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Briogeo Scalp Revival Rosemary Pre-Wash Scalp and Hair Oil 3.4 fl. oz. / 100 mL

sephora.com

$32.00

Briogeo” src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/r6Cdnw3aalP3ousTHX235Q–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTEyNDI7aD0xMjQy/https://media.zenfs.com/en/aol_good_housekeeping_154/ac9cfe2216990693bf906a73165495bc”>

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Briogeo Scalp Revival Rosemary Pre-Wash Scalp and Hair Oil 3.4 fl. oz. / 100 mL

sephora.com

$32.00

Briogeo

Camille Rose

Popular product to check out: Curl Love Moisture Milk, $14

What started out as a business to help with her children’s battle with eczema and hair dryness, Camille Rose CEO and founder Janell Stephens expanded her collection to feature blends of food-grade ingredients in a range of haircare products. The rice milk-based moisture milk product can be used as a treatment or styling product to define curls.

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Camille Rose

target.com

$13.99

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Curls

Popular product to check out: Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste, $9

As a celebration of various curl patterns, Mahisha Dellinger founded Curls to give women functional, natural products they can find at popular retailers. The brand’s Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste is formulated with passion fruit oil, shea butter and mango seed butter to slick edges and tame frizz.

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Curls

curls.com

$15.99

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Grace Eleyae

Popular product to check out: Grace Eleyae Slap – Satin-Lined Cap, $13

The “Slap,” a satin-lined cap, was the first product Grace Eleyae created after experiencing hair breakage during a trip back in 2014. Once she noticed her hair health improve with the Slap’s protection, she decided to share her product and expand her line to the likes of silk- and satin-lined hats, pillowcases and hairbands to prevent hair-damaging friction.

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Grace Eleyae

ulta.com

$12.99

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Scotch Porter

Popular product to check out: Leave-In Beard Conditioner, $14

With everything from beard to hair collections, Scotch Porter CEO and founder Calvin Quallis aims to provide men with everyday personal care products that are clean and non-toxic for routine use. The leave-in beard conditioner is a daily moisturizer designed to hydrate curly and wavy hair.

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Scotch Porter

scotchporter.com

$13.99

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Scotch Porter

scotchporter.com

$13.99

TPH By TARAJI

Popular product to check out: Master Cleanse, $15

Actress Taraji P. Henson created TPH By TARAJI to help women care for their hair and scalp, whether worn in a protective, chemically treated or natural style. The master cleanse is a scalp rinse formulated to remove buildup with hazel water, eucalyptus oil and tea tree oil.

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TPH By TARAJI

walmart.com

$14.97

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Taliah Waajid

Popular product to check out: Curl Cream, $10

Taliah Waajid created her self-titled haircare line after becoming a pro at styling her natural hair in her youth. The brand now offers natural, curly and children’s haircare and protective styling products. The Curly Curl Cream defines curls and prevents frizz, sans buildup.

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Taliah Waajid

walmart.com

$9.99

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4C ONLY

Popular product to check out: Too Twisted Loc, Braid, & Twist Gel for 4C Hair, $25

Like the brand’s name implies, Kim Lewis, the CEO and co-founder of 4C Only, created this haircare line for tighter, coarser textures. The company’s Too Twisted Loc, Braid, & Twist Gel is designed to give 4C hairstyles extra hold and hydration.

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4C ONLY

4conly.com

$25.00

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Pattern Beauty

Popular product to check out: Curl Mousse, $23

From shampoos and conditioners to heat-styling tools, actress Tracee Ellis Ross designed Pattern Beauty to tackle and celebrate every part of the haircare process. Another essential to a haircare routine, the curl mousse won a Good Housekeeping beauty award in 2023 for its ability to accentuate a “natural curl pattern while keeping it volumized and less frizzy.”

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Pattern Beauty

amazon.com

$23.00

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Inala

Popular product to check out: Power Potion, $55

After observing the use of rice water as a beauty ingredient within Asian cultures, actress La La Anthony decided to experiment with it and noticed positive results in her own scalp and hair. The Power Potion is a daily leave-in treatment featuring rice water extract, biotin and arginine made to strengthen hair and stimulate scalp follicles.

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Inala

thirteenlune.com

$55.00

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Alodia

Popular product to check out: Soothe Hair & Scalp Herbal Infusion, $20

In addition to using her background in science and medicine, Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris founded Alodia as a result of her personal journey going natural. Like the brand’s hair and scalp herbal infusion, she infused natural ingredients like chamomile and jojoba oils to help grow her hair.

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Alodia

amazon.com

$20.00

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4U by Tia

Popular product to check out: Curl Refresher Mist Hair Spray with Rosemary, $11

In need of a streamlined haircare routine? Consider actress Tia Mowry’s brand, 4U By Tia, which is designed to take the guesswork out of curl care with science-backed, clean ingredients for the whole family. Helpful for non-wash days, the curl refresher spray offers a light mist made for enhanced curl moisture and bounce.

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4U by Tia

walmart.com

$10.97

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YGN

Popular product to check out: Headwrap Turban, $35

Standing for “You Go Natural,” Monique Little founded YGN in 2016 as a way for people to style their natural hair in a fashionable and functional way. A pick on Oprah’s Favorite Things 2023, the multi-hyphenate says “anyone who wants to protect their hairstyle overnight will thank you” when wearing this headwrap turban.

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YGN

amazon.com

$35.00

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Uncle Funky’s Daughter

Popular product to check out: Uncle Funky’s Daughter Curly Magic, $27

Coined from her father’s nickname and love for the ’70s era, Tonya Goff founded Uncle Funky’s Daughter over 20 years ago with eco-friendly kinky, wavy and curly hair products. The Curly Magic product has a curl-defining, aloe vera-based formula that promotes lasting hold and frizz protection.

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Uncle Funky’s Daughter

amazon.com

$26.99

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Uncle Funky’s Daughter

amazon.com

$26.99

Bouclème

Popular product to check out: Silk Envelope Pillowcase, $30

While Michele Scott-Lynch straightened her curly hair for most of her teenage years through her twenties, she saw her curls through a new lens in her daughters. She decided to redefine for herself and the haircare industry with what it means to have curly hair. In addition to cleansing and conditioning haircare products, her brand offers protective tools like a silk envelope pillowcase that helps reduce frizz and keep curls moisturized and defined.

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Bouclème

boucleme.us

$75.00

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Melanin Crown

Popular product to check out: Hair Detangler Brush, $18

Founder Tiffany Clements launched Melanin Crown with a moisturizer back in 2015. Since then, she’s transformed her brand with hair tools like the detangling brush, which has eight flexible claw bristles that help tackle knots in straight, wavy, curly and coily textures more easily.

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Melanin Crown

amazon.com

$18.00

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Mixed Chicks

Popular product to check out: Coil, Kink & Curl Styling Cream, $14

Entrepreneurs Kim Etheredge and Wendi Levy Kaaya co-founded Mixed Chicks in 2004 to amplify haircare for multicultural hair textures. In the market for a multipurpose styling product? The Coil, Kink & Curl Cream is infused with six essential oils and can be used for Wash & Gos, finger styling, two-strand twists and more.

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Mixed Chicks

amazon.com

$13.49

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GRACE & COMPANY

Popular product to check out: Luxury Shower Cap, $24

Grace & Company’s designs are inspired by founder Kimanee Mason’s upbringing in the Jamaican countryside. Like all products in her collection, this luxury shower cap is functional and stylish.

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GRACE & COMPANY

amazon.com

$23.50

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GRACE & COMPANY

amazon.com

$23.50

CurlMix

Popular product to check out: Wash and Go Flaxseed Gel, $26

Shark Tank fans are likely already familiar with Kim Lewis’ brand CurlMix. After appearing on the hit show in 2019, the brand landed on Oprah’s Favorite Things list the next year for the wash and go products.

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CurlMix

ulta.com

$26.00

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Hair Are Us

Popular product to check out: Brazilian Curly Bundle, $85

Business partners and best friends Ashley Williams and Khat Brim launched their hair extension brand in 2011 to provide quality human hair options to people around the world, including this Brazilian Curly Bundle that’s durable and non-shedding.

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Hair Are Us

hairareus.com

$85.00

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Design Essentials

Popular product to check out: Almond and Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse, $17

Cornell McBride, Sr. launched Design Essentials in 1990 with the goal of infusing its hair products with a balance of vitamins and proteins designed to promote hair movement and manageability. Design Essentials’ Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse is a lightweight, non-greasy formula meant to control frizz with a shiny finish.

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Design Essentials

ulta.com

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Hairbrella

Popular product to check out: Waterproof Rain Hat, $40

Tracey Pickett, founder and inventor of Hairbrella, started her company as a way to give women peace of mind in rainy weather when it comes to their hair. The Hairbrella waterproof rain hat is satin-lined for a smooth, protective interior. It also has an attached waterproof visor designed to help keep your face clear of any rainwater.

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Hairbrella

amazon.com

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Hair Rules

Popular product to check out: Hydrating Finishing Balm, $23

Anthony Dickey is known as the “texture guru.” His brand, Hair Rules, features products designed for kinky, curly and wavy hair textures. This Hydrating Finishing Balm features glycerin, panthenol, olive oil and Hawaiian ginger root extract for a shiny yet non-greasy look.

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Hair Rules

amazon.com

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Earth’s Nectar

Popular product to check out: Jojoba and Tea Tree Scalp Oil, $11

From the brand’s perspective, Earth’s Nectar was created to help people repair dry, damaged curls and coarse strands. The brand focuses on using natural ingredients to replenish and revive your hair. This scalp oil is meant to soothe the scalp while also fighting against dandruff.

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Earth’s Nectar

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EDEN BodyWorks

Popular product to check out: Coconut Shea Curl Defining Creme, $10

After suffering a hair-damaging chemical burn when she was 11, Jasmine Lawrence says she started EDEN Bodyworks in 2004 to address the lack of natural haircare products on the market. This curl-defining crème features coconut oil, shea butter, aloe, avocado oil and other moisturizing ingredients that provide a medium hold while also defining your natural curl pattern.

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EDEN BodyWorks

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Rose Water Cream Shampoo

Popular product to check out: Rose Water Cream Shampoo, $15

Rose Ovensehei birthed Flora & Curl after making the decision to embrace her natural hair. After years of relaxing her hair, Rose wanted to formulate products that would heal her scalp without any harsh ingredients. This Rose Water Cream Shampoo blends rose water, enriched with camellia extract and oat silk proteins to nourish dehydrated hair.

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Rose Water Cream Shampoo

floracurl.com

$15.00

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Rose Water Cream Shampoo

floracurl.com

$15.00

Flawless By Gabrielle Union

Popular product to check out: Repairing Edge Control, $9

The award-winning actress adds another hyphen to her title with her haircare line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union. When it comes to edge control, Union offers a product packed with reparative acai palm oil, while biotin and passionfruit seed oil are meant to combat flakes and build-up.

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Flawless By Gabrielle Union

amazon.com

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Flawless By Gabrielle Union

amazon.com

The PuffCuff

Popular product to check out: Family Pack (7 pcs), $40

The PuffCuff is a modern twist on the trusty banana clip. It keeps your hair in place without causing unnecessary and painful pulling and tugging. Ceata E. Lash created the brand after realizing that there weren’t enough products for her thick hair.

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The PuffCuff

thepuffcuff.com

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Kinky-Curly

Popular product to check out: Original Curling Custard, $22

Kinky-Curly’s cult classic styling gels are beloved by beauty editors from Essence and Cosmopolitan. The brand’s Curling Custard aims to help strengthen hair, while also offering a nice hold for styling.

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Kinky-Curly

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Koils by Nature

Popular product to check out: Detoxifying MangoMint Conditioner, $10

Created by Pamela J. Booker, Koils by Nature’s motto is “blending the essence of beauty with the purest of nature.” Born out of Booker’s desire to create healthy products for natural hair, check out the brand’s Detoxifying MangoMint Conditioner, which is designed to clear out buildup and strengthen curls.

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Koils by Nature

amazon.com

$9.99

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Kreyòl Essence

Popular product to check out: Haitian Black Castor Oil Scalp Care Conditioner, $22

Kreyòl Essence, founded by Yve-Car Momperousse, was created after Momperousse searched for Haitian black castor oil and couldn’t find any to purchase in her hometown of Philadelphia. Now, Momperousse uses Haitian black castor oil to create her scalp care conditioner that uses essential oils like ylang-ylang, sweet orange and peppermint to soothe the scalp.

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Kreyòl Essence

ulta.com

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LivSo

Popular product to check out: Moisturizing Lotion, $18

Shari Hicks-Graham, M.D., created LivSo to help others battling difficult scalp and hair conditions. The moisturizing lotion is lightweight with a nutrient-rich formula that helps condition dry scalps.

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LivSo

amazon.com

$18.00

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Mayvenn

Popular product to check out: Virgin Indian Straight Bundle, $61

Founded by Diishan Imira, Mayvenn seeks to offer top-quality products and a top-notch online purchasing experience. Mayvenn offers virgin Indian straight hair that comes in multiple colors and lengths that’ll suit all your weave needs.

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Mayvenn

mayvenn.com

$60.99

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Mielle Organics

Popular product to check out: Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo, $13

Known for deals with celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion, Mielle Organics, founded by Monique Rodriguez in 2014, offers haircare treatments that they say are designed support healthy hair growth. Its Pomegranate & Honey Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo will help clean and detangle thick, curly hair.

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Mielle Organics

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Mielle Organics

mielleorganics.com

Nae Nae’s

Popular product to check out: Hair Boost, $36

Nae Nae was started by husband and wife duo Terrence and Nevadra (Nae Nae) Johnson, as a way to give women natural and healthy hair products. The Hair Boost formula comes infused with shea butter and essential oils for thicker, moisturized hair.

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Nae Nae’s

amazon.com

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Naturalicious

Popular product to check out: Moroccan Rhassoul 5-in-1 Clay Treatment, $23

Gwen Jimmere founded Naturalicious with a mission to help women acknowledge their own beauty. The Moroccan Rhassoul Clay Treatment works to detoxify, condition and detangle your hair.

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Naturalicious

ulta.com

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Qhemet Biologics

Popular product to check out: Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum, $21

This Coconut and Green Tea Softening Serum from Qhemet Biologics by Felis Butler helps to soothe and revitalize dry hair.

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Qhemet Biologics

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tgin

Popular product to check out: Miracle RepaiRx Protective Leave In Conditioner, $16

Chris-Tia Donaldson founded tgin after coming up short when searching for products that worked well for natural hair. This leave-in conditioner acts as a protectant and helps to restore moisture, softness and shine.

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tgin

ulta.com

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Vernon François

Popular product to check out: Conditioner For Curly Hair

Vernon François is a British-born, Los Angeles-based celebrity hairstylist who focuses on making magic for all hair types. The conditioner helps to nourish thick, curly strands with coconut oil fatty acids, castor oil and macadamia seed oil ingredients.

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Vernon François

amazon.com

$18.00

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Vernon François

amazon.com

$18.00

Bread Beauty Supply

Popular product to check out: Scalp-Serum: Cooling Greens Exfoliating Scalp Treatment, $28

The founder of Bread Beauty Supply, Maeva, created the brand with the intent of offering hair essentials that can be used every day. This exfoliating scalp treatment seeks to cleanse and soothe the scalp.

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Bread Beauty Supply

sephora.com

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KOSA

Popular product to check out: Elite 1” Infrared Styler, $85

KOSA means “hair” in Bosnian. Fans of the brand’s line of straighteners and blow dryers, like the popular Infrared Styler, say it offers a frictionless experience.

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KOSA

kosaprofessionals.com

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Canviiy

Popular product to check out: ScalpBliss Organic Itch-Calming Serum, $19

Canviiy founder Sherrel Sampson had an itchy and irritated scalp, which led to her creating the brand. The Itch-Calming Serum helps to alleviate itching through the use of botanicals like aloe vera, lavender, witch hazel, manuka honey and peppermint oil.

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Canviiy

amazon.com

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Ecoslay

Popular product to check out: Orange Marmalade Curl Definer Gel, $22

Since 2015, Adria Marshall has created products for her haircare line Ecoslay. The brand was created with the idea of using ingredients that are good for you and also respect the environment. The Orange Marmalade Flax Seed and Aloe Curl Definer helps to retain curls while also controlling frizz.

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Ecoslay

amazon.com

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Oyin Handmade

Popular product to check out: Hair Dew Daily Quenching Hair Lotion, $14

Jamyla Bennu developed Oyin Handmade in 2003 with the idea of making moisture-rich personal care products. This hair smoothing lotion strives to smooth the hair with moisture and reduce breakage.

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Oyin Handmade

amazon.com

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Loza Tam

Popular product to check out: Warm Amber Satin Hair Wrap, $40

For those moments when you need a hair wrap during a bad hair day, Loza Tam has an option for you. This satin turban can reduce friction on your hair follicles.

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Loza Tam

lozatam.com

$40.00

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newark-leaders-award-$2.3m-to-8-city-based,-black-owned-businesses

Newark Leaders Award $2.3M To 8 City-Based, Black-Owned Businesses

Newark city leaders, stakeholders and grantees celebrate honor festival lights and Retail Reactivation Initiative grants (Credit: City of Newark)

General Business

On Mar 1, 2024

The City of Newark and Invest Newark have pledged $2.3 million in funding for eight retail businesses as part of a new Retail Reactivation Initiative to increase the number of amenities in Newark’s Arts & Education District.

“Our new initiative reflects a commitment to bring new life into vacant retail spaces and enhance Newark’s physical appearance to enrich the lives of residents, visitors and workers,” said Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka in a statement. “The entrepreneurs opening businesses in the heart of our Arts and Education District embody the resilience and spirit of our city. Their businesses – which range from new restaurants to spaces for artists and comedians – add even more energy to a District that has become a commercial and cultural hub.”

Supported by Urban Enterprise Zone funds made available thanks to the reform law spearheaded by the Late Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, the Newark Retail Reactivation Initiative offers financial support for fit-out and furniture, fixtures and equipment to Newark-based businesses. The inaugural group of awardees consists of Black-owned ventures, with over half owned by Newark residents:

  • Newark Culture Club – Grant Amount: $120,540 – 12 Halsey St.
    • Owned by Newark resident Justin Williams, the Newark Culture Club is set to become a vibrant performance space and craft cocktail bar–Hosting stand-up comedy, local artist groups, DJ sets, trivia nights and film screenings. Williams is the host of Newark’s longest-running comedy show, Brick City Comedy Revue.
  • Lashed Queens – Grant Amount: $38,500 – 12 Linden St.
    • Owned by Brittany Payton, Lashed Queens offers an upscale Beauty Bar experience, specializing in skin care and aesthetic services like eyelash extensions, waxing and nail care.
  • Uncle Willie’s Wing – Grant Amount: $229,495 – 113 Halsey St.
    • Owned by Newark resident Walter Green, Uncle Willie’s Bar and Grill will provide venue space for events highlighting local painters, poets and sculptors, fostering a platform for Newark’s vibrant artistic community.
  • Consigliere – Grant Amount: $87,500 – 155 Washington St. Retail B
    • Owned by Newark resident Karl Fowlkes and operated by Terrance Wesley Campbell, Consigliere is an upscale wine and tapas bar. It will feature an extensive wine list focusing on the African diaspora and New Jersey-based wineries.
  • Casa De Flora – Grant Amount: $101,185 – 540 Broad St.
    • Owned by Maritza Walton, Casa De Flora is a retail flower boutique and coffee café, providing a welcoming space for brunch, work and events.
  • Katherine’s Restaurant – Grant Amount: $550,000 – 110 Edison Place Suite 204
    • Owned by Newark resident Jason Wallace, Katherine’s Restaurant & Brewery will offer American cuisine and onsite brewed signature lagers, ales and stouts.
  • Equal Space – Grant Amount: $625,000 – 550 Broad St. Floor 1st, 2nd and 4th
    • Owned by Newark resident Citi Medina, Equal Space is a co-working space catering to entrepreneurs, founders and small businesses led by people of color, women and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • Delta’s – Grant Amount: $600,000 – 810 Broad St.
    • Owned by successful restaurateur Joshua K Suggs, Delta’s is a full-service restaurant and bar serving Southern Cuisine with live entertainment.

“These entrepreneurs are diverse, local, and prepared to offer quality amenities to our residents, students, and workers,” said Marcus T. Randolph, president and & CEO of Invest Newark. “They are investing in our downtown core and we are proud to be able to invest in them and their dreams. Powered by our commitment to innovation and love for our community, we’re creating an ecosystem that will shape the future of Newark for generations to come.”

Aligned with the city’s efforts to boost foot traffic to local businesses, enhance Newark’s commercial corridors and increase public safety, new festival lights have been installed on Halsey Street. This placemaking endeavor represents a collaborative effort between Newark Alliance, Newark Downtown District, Prudential Financial, McLaren Engineering Group and local stakeholders, reflecting our shared dedication to fostering a safe and vibrant urban environment. Halsey Street marks as the second phase of the Festival Lighting Project, building upon the success of the initial phase at Newark’s Treat Place.

“I’m so excited to see the festival lights up and all the incredible businesses that are getting a serious infusion of funds to grow and prosper in Newark,” said Evan Weiss, President and CEO of the Newark Alliance. “But what I’m most excited about is how our City, our State, and our economic development community came together to make big things happen.”

To access more business news, visit NJB News Now.

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breaking-barriers:-sba-propelling-black-owned-businesses-to-new-heights

Breaking Barriers: SBA Propelling Black-Owned Businesses To New Heights

Mindy Brissey

In the dynamic landscape of the United States’ economy, the recent upswing in small business growth emerges as an extraordinary narrative, characterized by resilience, innovation, and unparalleled accomplishments. The year 2023 witnessed an unprecedented 5.5 million new business applications, marking a pinnacle in the history of small business expansion. Guided by the strategic vision of the Biden-Harris administration’s Investing in America agenda, pivotal federal investments such as the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law ignited this surge in entrepreneurship. 

Surpassing historical benchmarks, this wave of success, encapsulated by a remarkable 16 million new business applications since President Biden’s inauguration, not only redefines expectations but also champions diversity and inclusivity in the entrepreneurial landscape. From the flourishing realm of private establishments to robust job creation and groundbreaking federal procurement opportunities, the tale of small businesses in the United States during this period unfolds as a captivating story, emblematic of a nation dedicated to nurturing innovation, economic vitality, and the determined spirit of entrepreneurship.

The recent boost in small business growth in the ever-evolving American economy stands out as an exceptional story, marked by durability, creativity, and unprecedented achievements. The year 2023 saw a record 5.5 million new business filings, representing a high point in the progress of small business evolution. 

One remarkable achievement that we honor during Black History Month is the unparalleled increase of SBA loans extended to Black-owned businesses. In fiscal year 2023, these loans crossed the $1 billion mark for the third year in a row, a more than twofold increase since 2020. These figures underline the Biden administration’s commitment to economic inclusivity is resulting in considerable and meaningful change.

SBA guarantee loans are emerging as crucial financial support for Black entrepreneurs who frequently encounter systemic obstacles. Traditional barriers such as discrimination, credit history, collateral, and constrained networks have generally made it tough for them to secure funding. 

The Biden administration’s $100 million Community Navigator Program exemplifies its dedication to connect small businesses to local resources. This program is suitable for women, veterans, rural, and socially underprivileged business owners, offering specialist advice and mentorship. Moreover, it advocates for the creation and growth of Women’s Business Centers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).

These efforts’ influence goes beyond the individual business level. The Census Bureau’s 2022 Annual Business Survey reveals that more than 161,000 Black or African American-owned businesses add $183.3 billion in yearly receipts, employ 1.4 million people, and generate $53.6 billion in annual payroll. These businesses are essential to growing the economy, stimulating growth, creating jobs, spurring innovation, and enhancing the cultural richness of the communities in which they operate.

In supporting Black-owned businesses, the Biden administration doesn’t merely advocate for economic growth; it actively helps shrink the racial wealth gap, encourages economic participation, and paves the way for an equitable and prosperous society.   

Mindy Brissey is the SBA’s regional administrator overseeing the agency’s programs, offices, and operations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. 

apply-for-thriving-african-american-small-business-initiative-–-biz-new-orleans

Apply For Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative – Biz New Orleans

Getty Images

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – United Way of Southeast Louisiana opened the application process Thursday for its Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative designed to help boost the profit potential of Black-owned businesses in the region.

“We are thrilled to launch the second cohort of the Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “This program reflects our ongoing commitment to equity and economic empowerment. By investing in the success of Black-owned businesses, we are fostering a more inclusive and vibrant Southeast Louisiana for all.”

The initiative, launched in 2023, pairs a 5:1 matched development account for participating businesses with formal and informal opportunities to learn how to manage and budget money, improve their earning capability and invest in themselves and their communities.

The first TAASB cohort generated over $150,000 in immediate business capital for participants through the program’s unique development accounts. Once participants save $2,000 and complete program requirements over seven months, UWSELA will provide a $10,000 match to help with business expenses and future growth opportunities. 

UWSELA’s expert financial capability staff conduct the initiative’s classes through area Prosperity Centers with support from industry mentors, local financial institutions, chambers of commerce and the Urban League of Louisiana.

“The Thriving African-American Small Business Initiative represents a significant step forward in our efforts to address economic disparities and promote entrepreneurship within the Black community,” said Chiquita Lattimore, UWSELA senior vice president of community impact and financial capability. “By providing targeted support and resources, we are creating pathways to prosperity and long-term wealth-generating power.”

UWSELA will select participants through a competitive application process, which includes the criteria below:

  • Business office within Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa or Washington parishes
  • 51% Black owned and operated
  • In business since 2021
  • Annual revenue of $75,000 – $200,000
  • In good standing and eligible to do business with the state of Louisiana
  • Filed 2022 and 2023 business taxes

The online application is open now through March 22.

Eligible businesses completing the application will receive an invitation to attend an informational session and a short meet-and-greet with the UWSELA team before advancing. UWSELA will distribute invitations on a first-come, first-served basis.

The 15 businesses accepted must complete the following requirements over the course of the program: 

  • Make regular savings deposits
  • Attend financial education and small business training
  • Develop a formal business plan
  • Participate in monthly small business savings club meetings
  • Attend regular sessions with a financial capability specialist

To learn more about the program and apply, visit UnitedWaySELA.org/TAASB or contact TAASB@UnitedWaySELA.org.

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cayuga-county-launches-website-featuring-black-owned-businesses

Cayuga County Launches Website Featuring Black-Owned Businesses

Resilience and love, two characteristics that define abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s legacy. February is Black History Month, but what about the future? Cayuga County, where Tubman’s legacy endures, recently launched a “Discover Black-Owned Businesses” website to help them grow.

“Black excellence means that we know who were are, we define what we want, we stand on our square, we’re unapologetic about what we can have and we will have what we say we can have,” said entrepreneur Melody Smith Johnson.

While Tubman is known for her role as a conductor on the Underground Railroad and spy in the Civil War, she was also a successful business woman. As an entrepreneur, Johnson knows she’s here today thanks, in part, to the people who came before her. 

“I’m here because men and women who look like me survived the middle passage,” she said. “I’m here because my ancestors didn’t give in. I’m here because Harriet Tubman took dozens of trips back and forth and risked her life.”


What You Need To Know

  •  The “Discover Black-Owned Businesses” website was launched this week
  •  Melody Smith Johnson is an entrepreneur who runs two businesses in Auburn
  • Currently, 22 Black-owned businesses are listed on the site

Johnson is the founder of two businesses, Melody’s and Divine Coverings. 

“Melody’s is a co-working space. It’s the first co-working space to be founded by a Black woman in Auburn and Cayuga County,” Johnson said with a smile. “Divine Coverings is an online retail business that focuses on, again, women products.”

She hopes to uplift and inspire the women around her. 

“I’m not good until we’re all good,” she said. 

That mindset led to her being part of the Cayuga County tourism board, helping develop the “Discover Black Owned Businesses” website that released this week. 

“Black-owned businesses are here to stay. We’re doing well, we’re thriving,” said Johnson. “So the process was to connect, find out where we were, what we were doing and allow us to tell the story in a way that would be attractive.” 

The website will shine a light on every business. 

“Folk who come to the Finger Lakes region will get to see those individuals businesses and be exposed in the ways that they haven’t been exposed before,” she said. 

And pave the way for future business owners. 

“Children need to know that they have a right, it is their birthright, to not just exist and not just survive, but to thrive,” Johnson said. “I want to see us explode, I want to see us franchise, I want to see the proverbial Black Wall Street in Auburn. And it’s important to be categorized as a Black-owned business, because we’re dope.”

You can view the website at here. 

new-panelists,-black-owned-wine-brands-added-to-aaav-symposium-and-wine-festival-march-9-10,-2024

New Panelists, Black-Owned Wine Brands Added To AAAV Symposium And Wine Festival March 9-10, 2024

Association of African American Vintners’ Biennial Event Returns to Napa

Livermore, Calif. (February 29, 2024)—Wine lovers and industry professionals are invited to taste and network with Black wine entrepreneurs from across America at the
Association of African American Vintners’ (AAAV) Symposium and Wine Festival March
9-10, 2024 at CIA at Copia in Napa, Calif. Featuring some of the brightest minds and most
popular brands in the wine industry, the two-day event offers a luncheon keynote by Donae Burston of La Fête Wine Company, insightful panel discussions, an awards reception emceed by actor Jay Jackson and the Grapes of Inclusion wine festival featuring more than 20 Black-owned wine brands.

Ink Grade Hospitality Manager Balkis Johnson is a new addition to Saturday’s panel
discussion “Sommelier Unveiled.” She will join Master Sommelier Vincent Morrow of
PRESS Napa Valley and Wade Cellars’ George Walker III in demystifying the role and the
ways sommeliers impact the wine industry. Their conversation will be moderated by Wine
Unify Executive Director Alicia Towns Franken.

Following Donae Burston’s candid luncheon keynote about the efficacy of supplier diversity
programs, more industry leaders will gather for a panel discussion of “Alternative Pathways to Market.” James Harris, CDP, Sr. Director, Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity at H-E-B, Vinoshipper President Steven Harrison and Murice Anderson, Founder & CEO of AMG Branding, will dig into the many ways entrepreneurs can sell their wines. Their conversation will be moderated by Swan Dotson of Togun Wines.

New to the lineup of Black-owned wine brands pouring for the public at Sunday’s Grapes
of Inclusion wine festival are Dwayne Wade’s Wade Cellars, P. Harrell Wines and Tympany
Vineyards. Attendees will have the opportunity to taste wines from more than 20 brands
and make their own pairings with gourmet bites expertly prepared by Culinary Institute of
America chefs.

AAAV’s 2024 Wine Symposium Weekend is sponsored by Total Wine Spirits Beer & More,
Bronco Wine Company, CIA at Copia, H-E-B and Wine Enthusiast. Event tickets are
available at www.aaavintners.org. Detailed schedule follows:

Lifting The Bar: Expanding Your Wine Business
March 9, 2024, 10am – 5pm
CIA at Copia, 500 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559
$350 per person

Panel: Sommelier Unveiled–Beyond the Glass
We all know and respect the fancy title, but what does a sommelier really do? Learn about
all aspects of the role, including required education, possible career paths and even how a
sommelier could help boost your business. Moderated by Wine Unify Executive Director
Alicia Towns Franken. Panelists: Balkis Johnson, Hospitality Manager, Ink Grade; Master
Sommelier Vincent Morrow; George Walker III of Wade Cellars.

Keynote Luncheon
Enjoy a sumptuous lunch created by CIA chefs and paired with AAAV member wines.
Keynote speaker Donae Burston, founder of La Fête Wine Company, will share his views
on progress, barriers and impactful next steps to help make wine inclusive.

Panel: Alternative Pathways to Market
There are many ways to get your wine into the glass of a consumer—distribution is only
one option. Explore the various paths to market (and related careers) with a panel of
experts moderated by entrepreneur Swan Dotson of Togun Wines. Panelists: Murice
Anderson, Founder & CEO, AMG Branding; James Harris, CDP, Sr. Director, Diversity &
Inclusion and Supplier Diversity, H-E-B; Steven Harrison, President, Vinoshipper.

Awards Ceremony & Reception
Join actor and wine aficionado Jay Jackson for a festive reception featuring member wines
and bites that highlight African flavors and cultural cuisines. AAAV will honor recipients of
the following awards: Trailblazing & Leadership Excellence, Innovation in Wine Production,
Community Impact.

Grapes of Inclusion: AAAV’s Black-Owned Wine Festival
March 10, 2024, 12 – 4pm
CIA at Copia, 500 1st Street, Napa, CA 94559
$200 per person

Taste the wines of 20+ Black-owned brands from across America and meet the founders
and winemakers behind them. Nosh on gourmet bites prepared by CIA chefs. Network with industry professionals and discover unique wines from participating producers, including: Ampere Wines, Bodkin Wines, Hedon State, Longevity, Love Cork Screw, LoveLee Wine, J Moss Winery, Mad Marvlus, McBride Sisters Wine Company, Mom Juice, P. Harrell Wines, Sapere Wines, Sipwell Wine Co, Stover Oaks Winery, The Vice, Theopolis
Vineyards, Tympany Vineyards and Wade Cellars.

About Total Wine Spirits Beer & More
Total Wine Spirits Beer & More has an extensive selection of over 8,000 wines, 4,500
spirits, and 2,500 beers, all at exceptional prices. Additionally, Total Wine Spirits Beer &
More is committed to giving back to the local community. In 2023, Total Wine Spirits Beer
& More contributed over $13.5 million in monetary and in-kind donations to 16,000+
organizations helping those organizations raise in excess of $85 million to support their
good works in the community. www.totalwine.com.

About Bronco Wine Co.
Founded in 1973, Bronco Wine Co. has become a force in the US wine industry. As a
family-owned company, its focus on crafting quality wines for every table is evident through hard work, innovation, and willingness to embrace change. These fundamental virtues are the backbone of the company’s success and have laid a solid foundation for generations to come. broncowine.com

About CIA at Copia
The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Copia is an epicurean destination in downtown
Napa, where guests can immerse themselves in the past, present, and future of food.
Located in the Oxbow District, CIA at Copia offers an array of enticing culinary experiences delivered by CIA chefs and experts, including hands-on cooking and beverage classes; lively public events and art exhibits; a signature garden-to-table restaurant; Lunch Box, a casual weekday eatery; Wine Bar, a self-service tasting experience; a culinary and lifestyle-themed marketplace; and The Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum. CIA at Copia is also a unique setting for weddings and private events. All proceeds from CIA at Copia benefit CIA student scholarships.

About H-E-B
H-E-B, with sales of $43 billion, operates more than 430 stores in Texas and Mexico.
Known for its innovation and community service, H-E-B celebrates its 118th anniversary
this year. Recognized for its fresh food, quality products, convenient services, and a
commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability, H-E-B strives to provide the best customer experience and lowest prices. Based in San Antonio, H-E-B employs over 154,000 Partners in Texas and Mexico and serves millions of customers in more than 300 communities. For more information, visit heb.com and the H-E-B Newsroom.

About Wine Enthusiast
Wine Enthusiast Companies is a Certified B Corporation and the ultimate source of
innovation and information around wine. Founded in 1979 by Adam and Sybil Strum, the
company is composed of Wine Enthusiast Commerce and Wine Enthusiast Media.
Embodying the commerce side, the Wine Enthusiast Shop provides premium wine-lifestyle
products, reaching millions of consumers globally via direct mail, an e-commerce site, and
a business-to-business division. Representing the media side, Wine Enthusiast magazine
is an award-winning print publication and online resource that showcases wine news, food
trends, and more than 25,000 ratings and reviews annually. By the end of 2023,
WineEnthusiast.com reached 4.5 million monthly pageviews and is the industry leader with the most traffic of any wine media website. Wine Enthusiast events include the annual premier Wine Star Awards gala. Together, Wine Enthusiast Companies is the indisputable hub for everything wine. We bring wine to life.

About the Association of African American Vintners
Founded in 2002, the Association of African American Vintners stands as the go-to
resource for advancing equity in the wine industry. Our mission is to provide
comprehensive education, advocacy, and community support not only for Black vintners
but also for wine brands and industry professionals. Serving as a guiding beacon, we
advocate for inclusivity and breaking down barriers for all. With the mantra “We Make Wine Inclusive,” we welcome individuals across the wine community to seek the information required for industry advancement. Our commitment is to be a central hub where knowledge, support, and unity converge to propel everyone towards success. Visit
aaavintners.org for more information and to purchase many AAAV member wines.