“I Try To Support Black Businesses But…”

Before you jump in and read this post you should know this:

  1. I will not be using my platform to disparage black-owned businesses

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Now that we have that out of the way, let’s continue, shall we?

Last summer, after social media made it virtually impossible to ignore the black condition, many of us vowed to do more to support black-owned business. Our power is in our wallets, we declared. And I felt it, too. Since then, I’ve made it a point to direct you to black owned businesses in several posts (read about them HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.)

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The idea behind supporting black-owned businesses is that uplifting these companies will allow black dollars to be redirected into our own communities. The result would mean we would no longer have to rely on people who historically have shown that they are not now and never will be here for us. There are, perhaps, exceptions to this rule, but for the most part we know what time it is.

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And while there has been arise in Pro-black rhetoric, I have, more often than not, seen members of our community publicly declaring that black-owned businesses ain’t shyt.

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And listen. I get it. Trust me, I get it. If you go out of your way to direct your dollars to a black-owned business, in most cases, paying more than you would if you were to purchase a similar item at a major retailer, only to receive a shitty product, poor customer service, and/or not receive your product at all, I’d be mad, too. And I’ve been mad. I stay mad.

But guess what I no longer do? I no longer use any of my public platforms to talk trash about black businesses.

Here’s Why:

  1. Even though folks continue to publicly bash black-owned businesses, I haven’t found an example wherein publicly shaming these business-owners has actually resulted in any major change in how they operate. In other words, it’s not helpful. You’ll find folks who are ready to co-sign with you, but you aren’t helping these businesses to do better.
  2. For every poorly run black-owned business you can find at least 10 more that actually getting it right.
  3. The more folks spread the idea that black-owned businesses aren’t worth a damn, the harder we make it for the reputable ones to get their footing.
  4. You’re stacking the odds against your own people. We need both black and non-black people to patron theses businesses, so if we continue to air our dirty laundry, folks won’t want to support these companies.
  5. Many of the complaints about black-owned businesses have nothing to do with the blackness of the owner. These are small businesses, in most cases being run by one person, who is probably operating at a loss. Working no less than 60-80 hours a week, robbing Peter to pay Paul to pay Sam just to keep the dream alive.
  6. I’m Black. How do I look, publicly telling folks that my own people, whom I know are attempting to make something out of nothing in system designed to see them fail, basically suck at trying to take the road-less-traveled?
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Now, make no mistake, I’m not asking you to go out and spend money where you’re not getting the level of service you deserve. I’m not asking you to overlook poor customer service or poorly run establishments, but what I am asking is that you no longer attach race to your complaints against the company. Make it about the company. Drag the company for filth, if you want to,  but for the love of your own blackness, your own pride, stop publicly shitting on your own people.

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Share Your Thoughts Below!

Well Hello! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a lipstick-loving, high heel junkie, mom, and wife. When I’m not here bringing you the latest in beauty, fashion, hot topics, and bits and pieces of my life with my family, you can find me over on youtube swatching lipsticks and sharing my latest natural hairstyles. Make sure you also follow me on Instagram and Snapchat under my brand name Lisa A La Mode. I’m a real person. I promise.

10 Comments
  1. I don’t understand.I patronize black business all the time and talk about it on my fashion blog and have not had any bad experiences.If I do I definitely will not tarnish their name, but rather understand the aspects of small business like you mentioned.Shit is hard out here and people don’t become a booming business overnight.Great post as always Lisa! I will always ride for my black people and support the black businesses that handle their business well!

    http://www.caribbeancowgirl.weebly.com

  2. Thank you for writing the article. Many times as a business owner we don’t want to be defined by our color but by the content and quality of our products or services. It is hard to put a face behind the business when people see you as Black owned. They often shy away or think that the product is not for them. We have to focus on quality as you stated customer service and excellence. We should not lower our standards just because we are small business. Every large business had small beginnings!

    http://www.healthequalbeauty.com
    https://www.facebook.com/HealthequalBeauty/
    https://www.instagram.com/healthequalbeauty/

  3. Hi lisa, Hi dear readers,
    I am from France and I think your post is relavant.But denigrate our community is not a “black people” phenomena. Every where we always have people denigrating for a reason only them know.

    The african community is actually under lighting and anymore than before the idea of supporting black- owned business should be spread as a religion in order to remove the stereotype build in minds that black people are assisted for ever and are not able to deliver high quality service or a serious long-term business.

    Initiatives as lisa’s one with this post should be multiplied.

    Thanks for this post

    Oriane The founder of the brand LEYWA (shoes and accessories with african prints)

    https://www.facebook.com/pg/Leywashop/shop/?rid=1764080437137724&rt=9&ref=page_internal

    We need to support each other

  4. I think you put the nail in the coffin. We have to do better. Simply put leave the word “Black” out of the equation. If you were unsatisfied with the product or service. Comment that. All that extra is fluff that turns into negativity that continues to make us look uneven.

  5. This is a great post Lisa, I agree! There is no reason to shame our people especially when we are barely breaking grounds in these industries. Good write up👌🏾

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