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Feb 08 2017
by A. T. Thomas

10 Black-Owned Businesses You Should Know About

By A. T. Thomas - Feb 08 2017
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Unfortunately, the professional world is one that has been dominated by white people for ages. Many businesses still lack black employees or use some sort of affirmative action plan to meet a certain quota. However, black-owned businesses and websites have been on the rise in the last few decades, but even more so in the last five years. Even better, many of them are not only run by black people, but they were founded by them too, and hire mostly black teams to run day-to-day affairs. Here are my top 10 favorite business websites founded and run by black people.

1. Sweet Blackberry Foundation

Sweet Blackberry

Founded by Karyn Parsons, known for her role as Hilary Banks on the popular TV show, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," Sweet Blackberry dedicates its cause to bringing little-known stories of African American achievement to children everywhere. Parson, being biracial herself and the mother to biracial children, wanted to instill a sense of culture in her children the same way her mother did for her. She started Sweet Blackberry to deliver this same cause, through animated films, to children all around the world.

2. Black Health Matters 

Black Health Matters

Strictly devoted to stirring up the discussions centered around self-care in the African-American community, Black Health Matters was started by four students who met at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. They noticed that at a PWI, the understanding of the connections between race and health was almost non-existent. Influenced by the black lives matter movement, they created apparel with the phrase "black health matters," to start the conversation about health and well-being in conjunction with racism in the black community.

3. Radical Dreams 

Radical Dreams

Known exclusively for their creative and eccentric pro-black lapel pins, Radical Dreams also sells keychains, necklaces, buttons and patches with similar themes. The site was founded in the summer of 2015 by a medical school student named Shannon Pringle, who wanted pins to show more diversity. All products from Radical Dreams feature black people who have positively impacted society — and a portion of all proceeds go towards community organizations.

4. IMAN Cosmetics 

IMAN 

Launched in 1994 by model Iman, IMAN Cosmetics prides itself on being the first beauty company that created the first cosmetics and skincare collection designed for all women with skin of color. The brand offers skincare products and 16 different shades of foundation for African-American, Asian, Latina, Indian, Middle-Eastern, Native-American and multi-cultural women. Products can be found at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and Duane Reade.

5. Blavity 

Blavity, Inc.

Started in July 2014 by a group of four friends, Blavity, often being dubbed the "Black Buzzfeed," is a venture-based technology and media company aimed at building beautiful products and experiences for black millennials. Labeling itself a community, Blavity employs a nearly all-black production team, with Morgan DeBaun, a black woman, as Founder and CEO. 

6. Push Black

PushBlack

Priding itself on being the nation’s first mobile-based black organizing group, PushBlack's mission is to bridge the gap between black history and our world today. Through the use texts, emails and social media, PushBlack keeps its subscribers informed about black history and how it’s related to current events all year-round, not just in February. PushBlack also employs a nearly all-black writing and production staff. 

7. One United Bank 

One United

Standing as the country's largest black-owned bank and only black internet bank, OneUnited is dedicated to encouraging people to #BuyBlack and #BankBlack, so that money may go back into black communities to create jobs, build businesses and create wealth. Run by Kevin Cohee (Chairman and CEO) and Teri Williams (President and COO), OneUnited Bank believes that in addition to black lives, black money matters, too.

8. Soul of America

Soul of America

Pioneering in black travel reviews and information, the concept started as a hobby for a group of travel enthusiasts back in 1997. Soul of America is one of a kind, serving as a travel resource for people all over the country, having a wide array of trustable travel guides, reviews and itineraries posted from the best culturally rich spots across the U.S., Caribbean and even some international places. SOA employs an entirely black staff from executive director to videographer. 

9. Official Black Wall Street

Black Wall Street

Official Black Wall Street is a digital database created to give black-owned businesses, black entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs a platform to take the lead. They report that about 2.2 percent of the country's spending power is invested in black-owned businesses, and they want to change that. Named after the historic Black Wall Street of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Black Wall Street's Founder is Mandy Bowman, a black woman. They currently hold in their database over 1000 black businesses.

10. Moovn 

Moovn

Founder Godwin Gabriel, who taught himself to code, created the app earlier last year. Just like Uber and Lyft, Moovn is a ride-sharing service, except it doesn't have surge pricing. The app is available in seven major U.S. cities (including New York, D.C. and Chicago), Tanzania, South Africa and Kenya — with plans of making it available in 20 more cities in March of this year. Moovn is also very passionate about women's safety, as it allows women to do a full identity check before they get into a car. 

So, if you're ever worried about not supporting black business and find yourself wanting to, just take a look at all your options! 

Lead Image Credit: Pexels

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A. T. Thomas - Connecticut College

Introvert, photographer. From the suburbs of Chicago. I love The Office and short walks on the beach.

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