For this special edition of The Business Corner, I recommend readers take a moment to celebrate Black History Month and everything that it means to American history.
Black History Month is a time to reflect on our collective past, and the opportunities that the future holds for our society. To be clear, there would be less need for Black History Month if the full history of African American contributions to this nation’s history was reflected in the often-taught American history curriculum. As someone who knows how to create a good narrative, it is vitally important to recognize “the important roles of Black [individuals] in the larger narrative of the United States,” as Lionel Kimbel, vice president for programs for Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASALH) told ABC News in 2020
Kimbel is a part of the leadership team at ASALH, the charity founded by Harvard-educated historian Carter G. Woodson, who originally had the idea for “Negro History Week” which was first celebrated in 1926 to tell the full story about contributions by Black people in this country.
That’s what Black History Month is all about. As a business owner myself, I also recognize there is an opportunity to support minority businesses more broadly in February as a good start for increasing spending with those same businesses throughout the year.
Therefore, I am recommending that readers find an opportunity to support a minority-owned business here in Philadelphia. We need these types of businesses in our community and if you are interested in their product or service, you should check out the list below.
Here is my curated list of local minority-owned businesses:
Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse
This comic shop is owned by an African American woman and offers coffee service and comics from mainstream favorites such as Marvel and DC. Visit them at 2578 Frankford Ave. in Kensington.
Custom suits and ready-to-wear clothing is offered here by founder (and former Eagles safety) Malcolm Jenkins. Visit them at 72 N. 2nd St. in Old City.
This retail store offers stone and wooden jewelry as well as natural soaps and lotions from Kenya, Nigeria and other countries. The owner is Jocelyn Parks. Visit them at 51 N. 12th St. in Center City.
This women-owned clothing company was started in 2017 and offers color-block jackets, organic T-shirts, skirts and accessories. Visit them at 3605 Lancaster Ave. in West Philadelphia.
Owned by Jeannine Cook, this bookstore offers a series of books and apparel from Black authors, including some classics. Visit them at 248 E. Girard Ave. in Fishtown or on Twitter @harriettsbooks.
This home décor store can help you add new styles to your apartment or home. Contact owner Kelly Monk to schedule an appointment at their location at 1415 S. Broad St. in South Philadelphia.
Kicks and Fashion
This unisex sneaker boutique was co-founded by Dru Major, and they offer the latest in footwear to take your personal style to the next level. Visit them at 1832 E. Passyunk Ave. in South Philadelphia.
Mount Airy Candle Company
Check out some of the scents available from owner Marques Davis, who founded the company in 2018. Visit them online to order the hand-poured candles at mountairycandle.com.
The Movement Philly
This retail store offers handmade clothing, T-shirts, as well as bath and beauty products in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia. Visit them at 7133 Germantown Ave. or on Instagram @themovementphilly.
Paul Beale’s Florist
This business has served the community well for decades providing flowers for every occasion. Visit them at 7220 Ogontz Ave. in West Oak Lane or paulbealesflorist.com.
Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books
This bookstore is owned by Marc Lamont Hill, the Temple University Professor and host of Black News Tonight on BNC (Black News Channel). It offers a variety of books, drinks and snacks. Visit them at 5445 Germantown Ave. in Germantown or on Twitter @UncleBobbies.
In this tough economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to support local businesses.
Teresa M. Lundy is the principal and founder of TML Communications, the award-winning strategic public relations, crisis communications and community engagement firm serving corporations, nonprofit organizations and government agencies. Follow Teresa on Twitter @TeresaMLundy.