This is not a time to plead ignorance. Welcome to 2021 — education, resources and tools are a Google search away. We are all in different places when it comes to our social evolution — but there are big and small ways we can take action right now to support the Black Lives Matter movement and the Black community.
Spending is political. In moments of injustice, who we decide to give business can help or hinder social impact. Your purchases count — there’s a little activist in all of us.
Here’s where to start. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we hope that this will inspire you to seek out and support Black-owned businesses in your own community. If you are looking for more resources, see the end of this article for suggestions.
Navigating Canadian weather can be tricky for anyone — especially if you are a woman of colour. But Hanahana Beauty helps by providing Canadians with handcrafted shea butter sourced from Ghana. The staff knows their stuff — understanding the whys and how their sweet ingredients can help benefit the lives of women who require that additional hydration in their skin.
The Toronto-based beauty company offers a wide selection of high-fashion hair extensions, medical hair prosthesis and hair care products for women who value a chic aesthetic.
We know the damaging effects of the sun are a thing — but did you know that most sunscreens are not made with the consideration of women of colour? Enter Black Girl Sunscreen — a brand looking to fill that necessary gap in the beauty and health space.
Familiar with this one, eh? Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is a brand that was created with all complexions — especially the underserved ones — top of mind. What’s important about this well-known brand is that it has influenced other brands in the beauty space to do better and follow its lead — increasing the availability of foundation shades in a range.
With an understanding of the impact of culture and travel, this sustainable luxury eyewear company aims to represent contrasting identities, shift cultural paradigms and challenge the status quo. With social purpose at the heart of their brand, Bothen is conscious of its impact on the environment, sources reclaimed wood from West Africa and works to be greener every day.
From cute nostalgic throwback accessories to current political beaded messages, The Recess Shop offers good messaging and retro vibes. This new online Toronto-based retailer brings us phone cases, bracelets and more.
A clothing brand that truly understands that representation matters. Their collections include: Legalize Blackness, Black Culture and Break the Chains. “We don’t make clothes, we make statements” is their approach to their fashion — this brand seeks to empower marginalized groups including POC, members from the LGBTQ2S+ community and other minority groups.
Committed to responsibly engaging their audience, Because of Them We Can is more than a clothing company — it’s a movement. In addition to some great retail, this company also offers content and tools to help amplify and support Black existence on the daily.
Food and drinks
A perfect start to a day includes Caribbean-inspired cuisine — all with delicious flavour explosions and authentic Grenadian style dishes.
With reggae and roti on offer on this Vancouver patio, The Reef Restaurant is a perfect place to chill and enjoy delicious Caribbean eats. In case you were wondering, this business also provided chicken rotis for Help Change My City earlier this year during the pandemic.
In the west side (best side) of Toronto, treat yourself to African BBQ at The Suya Spot. During non-pandemic times, this place offers live music and delicious eats — including their popular menu item, their Suya.
Speaking of suya-styled barbecue, those in the east coast will have easier access to Mary’s African Cuisine in Halifax. This is where owner Mary Nkrumah serves up her suya-styled barbecue platters as well as West African favourites like jollof rice, lamb curry and more.
Combining Jamaican and Italian cuisine has never been tastier! Located in the heart of Kensington Market in Toronto, this innovative fusion restaurant is known best for their grilled jerk chicken and delicious dutch pot oxtail.