4 Poetry-Approved Ways to Support Black-Owned Businesses
It’s important to support Black-owned businesses now more than ever. While the effects of coronavirus have touched nearly every business, especially small businesses, shutdowns have impacted Black-owned businesses at disproportionate levels, The Washington Post reported. More than 40 percent of Black businesses shuttered—but the ones remaining are still committed to promoting Black excellence and bolstering their communities. If you’re financially able, stand behind this mission throughout August, which represents the 14th annual National Black Business Month. Here’s how to support racial equity with your wallet and with literary flair.
1. Browse Black-owned bookstores, in-person or online
You’re going to grow your TBR list anyway, so why not do it at a Black-owned bookstore? The African American Literature Book Club, founded in 1997, hosts an extensive list on their site. Search more than 100 amazing options based on your state. Shop safely in-person, or use platforms like Bookshop to support the legacies of these iconic institutions online. Though it started in June, consider reviving the #BlackPublishingPower initiative while filling your cart. Simply buy two titles from Black authors—there’s a lot to choose from.
2. Learn from Black poets with a writing course
Learning something new is always worthwhile, especially when we open ourselves up to diverse teachers. Brooklyn Poets, which regularly gathers the best living poets to teach their craft, offers a course from National Endowment for the Arts fellow Darrel Alejandro Holnes this September through October. Registration is open now for this workshop on how R&B and poetry collide to produce thrilling, musical language. You can also tune into this Skillshare class on expressive writing from Pushcart Prize nominee Hanif Abdurraqib.
3. Pair your poetry with coffee or tea from a Black-owned shop
Most of us love to indulge in a warm, delicious drink while we read or write. This list of 122 Black-owned coffee shops and cafes makes it easy. Treat yourself while being a part of something bigger.
4. Let Black yogis help you unite with your imagination
Yoga can facilitate creativity and put you more in-tune with your personal voice, making it a great tool for poets. Yoga educators like Jessamyn Stanley of The Underbelly, Faith Hunter of Embrace OM, and Chelsea Jackson Roberts behind Chelsea Loves Yoga aren’t afraid to take up space and disrupt the white-washed workout scene. Book a class to sink deeper into inspiration as you sink into a satisfying, stress-reducing flow.
There are many more ways to support Black-owned businesses this August and beyond. Let’s get started!