The Black Lives Matter movement calls on all of us to make long-term commitments to respond directly to systematic racism and to help fight racial inequality.
One way of taking action is by showing your support for Black Pound Day, a monthly initiative encouraging support of Black-owned businesses, both locally and online.
What is Black Pound Day?
Founded by Swiss, a member of So Solid Crew, Black Pound Day is "a real solution-based, community-empowering campaign and motivating endeavour that will leave a better infrastructure for the next generation to walk into".
Starting off as a monthly initiative, Black Pound Day also provides an opportunity for consumers to find out more about how they can make enduring commitments in support of Black-owned businesses. As Swiss himself says, "it's a movement, not a moment".
When is Black Pound Day?
Following the launch on June 27, plus August and September's events, the next Black Pound Day will take place on Saturday, October 3, with dates already announced through to the end of 2020:
- Saturday, November 7
- Saturday, December 5
How can we show support for Black Pound Day?
According to the Black Pound Day website, "if we spend just £10 a week on Black businesses, we can inject £1.9bn into the Black community".
If you're looking for some houseplants, then why not check out Prick, London's first shop dedicated to cacti and succulents?
The store was founded by Gynelle Leon, who's an award winning photographer with a masters' degree in forensic science. On the shop's website, Gynelle describes cacti and succulents as "a beautiful and sustainable way to transform any interior... Due to their low maintenance and hardy nature, they're well suited to modern city living." You can also buy from Prick online, as well as visiting the store in Dalston.
Sunmo Snacks' sweet potato puffs and plantain crisps are vegan-friendly, and stocked in Sainsbury's, Selfridges and at Whole Foods. They're also available to buy on Amazon and direct from Sunmo's website.
"Each Sunmo pack sold provides a meal for a vulnerable child in Nigeria – making them not just mouth-watering snacks but also the Snacks That Give Back," the company's founder Victoria wrote on Instagram. "We have created a brand that not only aims to do a little good in the world but transcends nationalities and culture."
There's Craig and Shaun McAnuff (@originalflava on Instagram), who are also authors of a best-selling cookbook…
For home inspiration, check out Detola and Geek, who make lovely lampshades and homewares. If you're in the mood to try making something at home, Tola (@detolaandgeek on Instagram) sells lampshade kits, too...
And there's the swimwear, underwear and hosiery brand Nubian Skin (@nubianskin on Instagram)...
Plus fashion brand Enitan London (@enitanlondon on Instagram). The company's owner and head designer Sarah Ogunbowale told The Telegraph that since the first Black Pound Day on June 27, "the growth in sales and activity has been phenomenal and has continued to do so ever since".
The Afro Hair and Skin Co (@afrohairandskinco on Instagram) was founded by Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka and specialises in award-winning, plant-powered natural hair & skincare products, made with organic, locally-sourced ingredients.
If you're looking for something new to read, why not pay a visit to New Beacon Books (@newbeaconbooks on Instagram)? The store was founded in 1966, and is based in Stroud Green, north London. It's open on Friday and Saturday afternoons at the moment, but you can order online, too.
There are so many UK-based Black businesses to support, and the Black Pound Day homepage has a search function where you can filter results by location, and the kind of products you're looking to buy.
If you're on social media, you can also use the hashtag #BlackPoundDay and share purchases and recommendations on your networks.
The #BlackPoundDayChallenge also encourages people to create a short video talking about how you'll be supporting Black-owned businesses.
And a new feature has recently been launched where you can upload your receipts to the Black Pound Day website, so that the total spend can be calculated.
Black Pound Day events, markets and fundraisers
On October 3, Jamii will be hosting an event which is "an extra special Black History Month edition of our Black Pound Day online series!"
The event will include a Black British history lesson, discussion about building generational wealth, and a virtual marketplace showcasing Black-owned businesses. Tickets are free and available via Eventbrite.
October's event will take place on Sunday, October 11 (the day after World Mental Health Day) at BOXPARK Wembley, again in support of Black Minds Matter, as well as Black-owned businesses – previous events have hosted stalls from the likes of Leanne Creative, EduCup Yourself, KokoKrafts and The Aqua Closet.
In Birmingham, the Legacy Centre of Excellence is hosting monthly Black Pound Day markets.
October 3's event takes place between midday and 7pm – again, entry is free but advance booking is required via Eventbrite.
Black Pound Day has also launched a fundraiser with the ongoing aim of making Black businesses more visible.
"Businesses run by Black and minority ethnic groups contribute between £25 – 32 Billion to the British economy every year, yet Black entrepreneurs are more than twice as likely to be denied a loan than white entrepreneurs, blighting their visibility and access to market," the fundraiser intro reads.
"Black businesses are amongst the least visible on the high street and on the major search engines in the UK and Black women are projected to be the least funded business group… With this socio-political momentum we plan to expand our reach and support more entrepreneurs and Black businesses getting access to the wider market."
You can donate to the fundraiser here.
For more information on how you can support Black Lives Matter, please visit its official website or donate here. Readers can also donate to the UK anti-discrimination group Stand Up To Racism, and the Unite Families & Friends Campaign, which supports those affected by deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody.
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