Buy From a Black Woman
There are a lot of ways to come at the patriarchy and white supremacy. I've written about the power of protest and the importance of language. But one of the most obvious and practical ways to dismantle the systematic oppression of such a large portion of the population is to defund it.
We know that money is power—power to lobby on your issues, to buy politicians, to pay for lawyers, to give to the charities that are important to you. This power has been greedily hoarded by white people, mostly white men for all of American history.
Every time you shop at a business owned by white men you are supporting the patriarchy and white supremacy. Every time you invest in a company owned by white men you are supporting the patriarchy and white supremacy. Every time you eat at a restaurant owned by white men you are supporting the patriarchy and white supremacy. WHY ARE YOU FUNDING YOUR OPPRESSOR?
Now I say, "when you…" but of course I mean me too because in our society white men own the vast majority of American owned businesses. It's no easy task to avoid perpetuating the power of white men through the dollar. It's not easy but it can be done. While I'm probably still going to shop at Acme grocery cause it's on the way home from work, I'm going to be looking to women owned stores to buy my clothes and black owned bookstores to buy my books.
This is the shopping season, so I encourage you to consider where your shopping is happening. Shopping at stores owned by Black Women is the most concrete way to start dismantling the economic system that allows for—and in fact profits from—their oppression. Black Women are the largest growing group of entrepreneurs. Black Women are more likely to be discriminated against in the work place, suffer sexual harassment, and bear the brunt of austerity policies, all the while being heads of a households. One of the best ways to counter this is to shop at the businesses Black Women are building for themselves.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by going to the website Buy From a Black Woman:
"When you support a Black Woman Business Owner you are taking the pledge to educate those around you on how to become a conscious consumer. You are taking the pledge to spend your money places that will help empower your community. You are taking the pledge to inspire those around you to do the same."
Another way is through the app the Official Black Wall Street. It allows you to search for black businesses by location or type of business. It's often easy to see if a woman owns the business. And if you are looking to shop right now let me direct you to this business owned by Black Women:
The Spice Suite… a spice bar in Washington, DC that will ship you your culinary needs (and has a charming store if you're local). Honey Citrus Cilantro is a must for my kitchen (in case Santa is reading this). The Spice Suite supports 17 other Black Women (Spice Girls –see what she did there?) by offering them her space for free each month to sell their products. On Sundays the space is open for non-recurring small black businesses for pop up shops. This is what happens when women are in business—the support spreads.
You're going to spend that money somewhere, why not spend it at a company that is, by its very existence, fighting the patriarchy?
Article by Claire Ryder
VERVE Operative USA & Humanitarian Activist