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Giving back while shopping : Halal cosmetics and Black Lives Matter

A Practical Guide to Buying Black

# Buy Black, # Support Black Business.  Today's social movements are often spurred and organized online.  You can't go on social media without hearing about a cause or the cause. But how do we move from talking about an issue to being an active part of the change?  Choosing to buy black is no different. It can difficult to put your money where your mouth is and be about the cause.  The reality of life is in The buy black order to be successful at anything some sacrifices will have to be made.  Whether its time, money or just effort in order to be a part of a change, we must change. Do's and don'ts

Do Walk the Walk 

I am writing this as if you already know the who, what and why of the Buy Black Movement. If you do not, no worries, look out for my article on the History Of The Buy Black Movement. If you are not quite there and you are wondering when you should get started. I say there is no time like the present.  Just start and chances are you will find that many of the products you use are already black-owned.

 Next question how to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  Hands down the thing that motivated me the most to become serious about buying black was reading Our Black Year. I wrote a review of the book after reading it so I won't go into a lot of detail here. But to say the very least, it was a life-changing read. You can read a more detailed review of the book here.
       Another thing that I find to be motivating is to listen to podcast or YouTube videos.

Do Lean on Me
Get Support
      Have a conversation with your spouse or housemate.

      Talk to your co-workers and friends.  Sometimes we are shy to have these types of conversations with people we know.  But there are a few benefits.   For starters, you may find like-minded friends and increase your support system. Like-minded friends keep you encouraged and look out for you.  I have some friends that will call me and say I am at so and You also may get some awesome recommendations.  Just yesterday a friend called me to let me know that Black and Nobel bookstore move and is now located much closer to an area I frequent.

Don't Fail to Plan
       As the saying goes when you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  Deciding to buy black is like any other life style change.  If you want to be successful you need to prepare for it. Organize your thoughts and write out your intentions, your goals, your questions.  When you are ready to get started I recommend that you think about
  • Where you shop
  • What you buy
  • What is important to you 
  • Start small

      After you do this you can compile a list of alternatives.  Th comparable list.  That is the I am an online shopper so I wrote down the two places I shop most often online and then comparable black-owned stores.


      You can also think about what you buy.  For me, I know that my number spend is on books.  I also like to support local business. So I compiled a list Black Owned bookstores in my neighborhood and in my parents' neighborhood.  I am super blessed to have some pretty awesome places in a reasonable distance.  Ultimately, I made a list of places I can buy books that are either, local to the areas I frequent or online.  You can find a partial list of  bookstores that are either online or brick and mortar with an online option, below

African Bookstore

Remember the Lean on me principal.  You don't have to start from scratch or reinvent the wheel.  Utilize list and directories that were created by others.  Below  are a few that I use.

Black Owned Business Network

Black Owned Book Stores

Black Owned Beauty Supply Stores

Black Owned Resturants

Don't Keep Up With The Joneses

      The way I buy black will not look like the way you buy black and that is ok.  Not a one size fits all, this is especially true if you are a family. In my home, we balanced this buy remembering both manufacturers and suppliers. To be clear if there is a product that we can not find a black-owned maker or just prefer the brand we were using, we put an effort to buy from a black supplier.  Both things are important, we need to support our inventors and our store owners.

      I am fortunate to live in a city, so I generally have options.  However, it may still be that what I want is not

       Buying black is not the only cause I want to support.  I also try to support women business, Muslim business and be eco-conscious.  It's awesome when these things align, but often they don't.  In general, though, I try not to make a purchase that is not somehow aligned with what is important to me.

 Sometimes we are tempted to go all in.  There is nothing wrong with that per say, but it is ok to start small.  I mentioned that I am an online shopper. I am also a thrifter.  So while I can say buy poshmark, and vinted, I have chosen to work within.  That is I make the intentions to buy from sellers that reflect what I am concerned about.

Stay Encouraged 

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Being Disciplined

Be a Part of the Solution


Update: The movement for buying black has resurged. Be sure to check out other online communities on facebook and instagram.

Originally posted July 2018


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