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    We Can't Live On Beauty Products - 4 Ways To Expand Your Support For Black Owned Businesses

    If you're truly vested in supporting Black empowerment and deconstructing systemic racism, your financial habits have to change. Go beyond what is convenient to you and shift your spending to essential Black institutions.

    1. Bank Black

    Black Americans built this nation's financial institutions for free. The location of one of the nation's largest slave markets is marked by a small sign on Wall Street.

    In 2005, JP Morgan Chase offered an apology in which they finally acknowledged that they had accepted slaves as collateral for loans. Chase - the largest bank in the United States valued at $424.1billion - offered no reparations nor any attempt at amends for having used Black bodies for profit. They simply said they were sorry and carried on the mortgage practices that ultimately led to the 2008 financial crisis.

    And that apology is still more than Wells Fargo, Citibank, or Bank of America have ever offered, despite the fact that they too profited off the sale of slaves and used Black lives as collateral.

    Where you put your money matters, and the era of online banking has made it possible to move some or all of your accounts into OneUnited Bank America's largest Black-owned, FDIC insured bank. OneUnited never participated in subprime lending and their mission statement focuses specifically on pushing money back into black communities and businesses.

    Even better, you can find out if you qualify for membership at one of the over 15 Black owned credit unions around the country.

    You can start by looking for banks and credit unions here: https://blackoutcoalition.org/black-u-s-banks/

    2. Buy Black Food

    If you are unfamiliar with the history of redlining take a moment to read and familiarize (and then ask yourself why you learned about Levittowns in US History classes but not the systemic racism they came with.)

    Alongside redlining came a much lesser known evil - Supermarket Redlining.

    Politicians love to beat the public health drum decrying the poor eating habits that lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, but always fail to mention the reason low income, predominately black communities cannot access fresh nutritious foods - let alone at an affordable price.

    There are astoundingly few Black owned grocery stores in the United States; Detroit, a city that is 85% Black, does not have a single black owned grocery store within city limits. You can read more about why this is, supermarket redlining, and the Black leaders working to change these norms here.

    The most comprehensive list of black farms and grocery stores is available here.

    If you can't find one near you, make a list of the foods you most depend on and begin looking for Black owned alternatives - and urge your local grocery store to order them while you buy them directly. You can also expand your diet by buying from these Black owned brands: Callaloo Box, IYA Foods, McBride Sisters, and Southern Culture.

    3. Read Black

    This one should be pretty obvious: buy and read from Black Authors.

    Read books by Black authors.

    Read Black fiction.

    Read books by Black authors about Black people.

    Read books by Black authors about Black people to your children.

    Normalize reading stories about people who don't look like you, talk like you, or experience what you do. It's what Black people have done their entire lives.

    4. Download Black Tech

    It's not an accident that most of the major tech companies are white owned and are dominated by white employees. Bloomberg reports only 3% of Silicon Valley employees are black, and 70% of those black employees are in administrative positions.

    There are black alternatives for many apps and more are coming out every day.

    Find a safer rideshare.

    Hire and apply to jobs on merit rather than appearance.

    Manage day to day business tasks.

    Edit Photos.

    Date within the LGBT+ community.

    Unsend text messages you instantly regretted sending.

    Find more here.