It’s been a year since I started the actual website of Buy Black Main Street. It seems like a good time to reflect on what this last year has been like and where I (or we, sometimes in the collective “We” as black people, and other times in my close family and friends that have been with me through this process) plan to go in the next year.
Buy Black Main Street grew out of a sense that while We had a good idea in the different blackout days planned and executed after the latest in the line of police brutality incidents while we also battled Covid and most people finally got the chance to sit down and not be consumed with work. The Blackout days gave a reference point to start with as we focused on how to channel our voices and while protests are important, they can’t go on forever. I felt like it was important to look at the long term implications and be instrumental in helping to make the change. If I didn’t think those days were a long term solution what could be?
My decision was to build a list of black owned businesses that made the products that we need. I’m not the first nor will I be the last but Google searches are scattered at best and can be limiting and most people don’t have the time to dig through the results. What started as several Google Docs became this site.
There was nothing unique in the idea. In fact the timing was right and as I dove in I found others on Instagram, on Facebook, communities of business owners, customers and others building lists and databases.
What sets Buy Black Main Street apart, is that my goal has entirely been about empowering others. My goal has been to push these businesses to the forefront. I’m not going to lie I thought it would be easier to create this and get exposure for the businesses within. I thought it would be nice to get enough people to pay for a server and maybe be able to get my daughter a car. Turns out, it takes more work than that but it’s fine. It has been fun the vast majority of the time from building the site to learning about servers and finally the businesses. It’s been a journey.
So what’s next, continuing to update the technical structure of the site is always on the top of the list. Along with adding more black owned businesses of course. But also bringing more content and some more variety as well. Buyer’s Guides and product highlights will be the core of what we are about but there are a few ways to expand our take on Black Owned Business. Some more editorials will be coming, and a sincere attempt at mailing list content.
Here is to a year of helping to promote and build up Black owned Businesses and to many more. and also, Thanks for the support.