As riots continue to break out across the US to protest the killing of George Floyd, activists and allies in New York City are urging residents to support local black-owned businesses, including restaurants, pop-ups and bars.
The movement — which has gained serious momentum in major cities across the country — has folks compiling resources like spreadsheets, Twitter threads and Instagram posts to direct New York consumers to order from, and educate themselves about, black-owned businesses.
“We’ve seen a huge burst of new followers over the past few days seeking to support Black communities at this time,” reads an Instagram post by Black-Owned Brooklyn, a “publication spotlighting Black-owned, Brooklyn-based businesses and the people behind them,” their Web site states. “We’re proud to be a useful resource, as our aim here is to be actionable.”
Husband-and-wife duo Tayo Giwa and Cynthia Gordy Giwa, who run the site, are planning to ramp up their content amid the crisis over the next few weeks.
“In the meantime, enjoy, look around . . . and buy something from a Black person today,” the Instagram caption reads.
View this post on Instagram
If you follow Black-Owned Brooklyn, your mental and emotional state have likely been overwhelmed. Managing our lives through racism isn’t new, but having to constantly navigate systems of oppression takes a cumulative toll. Like you, we’re angry about the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others. We’re angry that Black people in America are still fighting for our basic humanity to be recognized. And we’re tired of having to moderate our anger to make other people comfortable. ⠀ Yet we’re also focused on bringing our community some measure of love and joy because our existence is not all anger and pain. We hope to be a space where you feel seen, affirmed and rejuvenated. Where our cultures, history and everyday lives are worthy of examination and reverence. And where our self-determination and collective power are celebrated on the regular. 🖤 ⠀ We’ve seen a huge burst of new followers over the past few days seeking to support Black communities at this time. Welcome — our names are Tayo and Cynthia, and we’re the people behind Black-Owned Brooklyn. We’re proud to be a useful resource, as our aim here is to be actionable. 💵 ⠀ Incidentally, thanks to the generosity of the @nywomensfdn and support from @weeksvilleheritagecenter, we’ve been working to bring more voices to this space. Nearly 200 applicants(!) answered our call for contributors, and we’ve already started commissioning stories. Over the days and weeks ahead, we look forward to bringing you more and richer content. In the meantime, enjoy, look around…and buy something from a Black person today. ✊🏾 Photo by Curt Saunders (@cosmicinsanity) #blackownedbrooklyn
Meanwhile, New Yorker food critic Hannah Goldfield compiled a rolling spreadsheet of black-owned eateries that includes each spot’s borough, phone number, Web site, gift card information and services such as takeout, delivery or pickup options available amid the pandemic.
There are currently nearly 200 restaurants listed on the sheet — with hot spots such as Peaches, a classic American joint with a Southern twist in Bed-Stuy, French-Senegalese cuisine at Cafe Rue Dix in Crown Heights, and Bunna Cafe in Bushwick, which serves Ethiopian vegan fare. Also included are longtime institution and Harlem landmark Sylvia’s, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, also in Harlem, and Midtown food truck Makina Cafe, which serves Habesha food.
But Goldfield hopes to add many more.
“I started the list with all the restaurants that I could think of off the top of my head, and for additional entries, I’ve been crowdsourcing on Twitter and Instagram, as well as also inviting anyone who wants to help me manage it,” Goldfield tells The Post, adding that anyone interested in helping is welcome to participate. “It’s important to support all black-owned businesses all the time, but especially right now, as a show of solidarity for the nationwide protests in response to the murder of George Floyd and so many other black Americans.”
Rachel Karten, the associate director of social media at Bon Appétit Magazine, also spearheaded a similar spreadsheet.
Diners looking to help the cause can also use the app Eat Okra (available for iPhone and Android) which helps users locate nearby black-owned establishments.
The goal isn’t just to bring business to the shops during this tumultuous time, but to make it a habit in the future, too.
“We hope to be a space where you feel seen,” writes Black-Owned Brooklyn. “And where our self-determination and collective power are celebrated on the regular.”