February is Black History Month, and we’re reflecting on the power of African American entrepreneurship. One way you can support African American-owned businesses is by participating in #buyblack, which encourages people to spend money with black entrepreneurs and businesses in order to build community wealth. The notion of black capitalism, or circulating wealth within the black community, is an idea that originates from early black leaders such as Booker T Washington and Marcus Garvey, and continues to be championed by contemporary activists such as Killer Mike. More about the history of this subject can be read in this article.
There are ways to support African American entrepreneurship in our neighborhoods as well. This year the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation is hosting BAMBDFEST, a local event that highlights black arts, culture, and business, and exemplifies the principles and practices of #buyblack in action. Organized by the Black Arts Movement Business District Community Development Corporation of Oakland, their mission is “to advocate, organize, create, develop, implement, foster, and ensure the thriving of BAMBD, Oakland, CA through vigilant organizing, development of infrastructure, and the creation of mechanisms for stewardship and advocacy. Learn more about the event here.