Kwanzaa Crawl In Brooklyn Supports Black-Owned Businesses

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (PIX11) — More than 5,000 people packed bars and restaurants in Brooklyn Tuesday for the sixth annual Kwanzaa Crawl. To date, the event has raised more than $1 million for Black-owned businesses.

More than 20 Black-owned bars across Bushwick, Flatbush, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights participated.

“It’s been wonderful,” said Ronald Snow, the manager of Brooklyn Beso, one of the participating bars. “The crowd’s been wonderful. The energy’s been high. And we’ve been loving every minute of it.”

Participants split into teams, hopping from bar to bar, beginning Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s all Black-led, Black-owned businesses,” said participant Stephanie Cancel. “It’s a bunch of amazing entrepreneurs, Black professionals. Everybody from everywhere that is Black in Brooklyn, coming out and celebrating and turning up.”

While the atmosphere was certainly celebratory, the meaning behind the crawl is deep.

“After so many consecutive killings of unarmed Black men and we were just in a state of hopelessness and frustration,” said Kerry Coddett, who founded the crawl with her sister Kristal Payne in 2016. “Things felt really dark and we thought, ‘What can we do to celebrate ourselves? What can we do to bring our community together?”

“The deeper meaning is just rooted in supporting each other,” said Yolanda Brown, who served as a Kwanzaa Crawl team leader. “I just gained a whole set of 35 friends. It’s great.”

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