ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) – St. Louis County Parks hosted a Black History Month expo on Saturday.
Vendors sold a variety of things, ranging from food to books to jewelry.
The pop-up shop helps support local black owned businesses, like Tommy Wong Select.
Owner Tyree Thomas says these kinds of events are instrumental to his business.
“For myself coming from humble beginnings, I would like my children to have an opportunity to make some different decisions,” Thomas says. “Not just based on desperation if you will. Creating wealth for our family would definitely help do that.”
More than 40 vendors set up shop at the north county recreation complex on Saturday.
“We’re literally living Black history,” Thomas says.
Recreation supervisor Allen Bender is hoping to expand this event in the future by bringing in even more businesses.
“A very strong foundation for the Black community here in St. Louis,” Bender says. “Especially north county. This is where a majority of the residents do reside here in north county. I just wanted to reach out to them and let them know like hey you have a safe haven here.”
Color Street stylist Burchell McGhee says this not only uplifts the businesses, but the entire community.
“Big businesses they make money hand over fist but we really need to support our economy and it’ll help us in generating and creating generational wealth for our future,” McGhee says.
By doing that, McGhee says it keeps the money in the Metro region.
“It helps maintain the neighborhoods,” McGhee says. “It keeps the money in our neighborhood to keep our money circulating. We don’t it to be in and out. We don’t want to have to drive far to get what we need.”
Bender also wanted to offer an educational aspect to Saturday’s event by bringing in health and wellness advocates.
“I wanted to bring that to the forefront for the black community here in St. Louis so they can gain that knowledge and find other resources they may need in their day to day lives,” Bender says.
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