Before you jump in and read this post you should know this:
- I will not be using my platform to disparage black-owned businesses
If you prefer to skip over this post, you can watch this video instead:
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.)
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 have historically shown us 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- For every poorly run black-owned business you can find at least 10 more that actually getting it right.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
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.