How to Support the Black Community in Dallas Right Now
From restaurants and retailers to nonprofits and community organizations.
Courtesy Cake Bar
Black History Month officially starts on February 1st. As the annual observation spreads to countries outside the US and the struggles and achievements of the black community become even more prominent than usual, it is important to find support throughout the year. Of course, with the pandemic threatening small businesses just as much, if not more than initial bans, keeping your dollars local is a long way to go. Here are a few ways you can safely make a difference right now, from nonprofit organizations and charitable efforts to donating and helping local businesses.
Support black-owned businesses across North Texas
Several organizations have extensive directories of local black-owned businesses, including the Dallas Black Chamber, Black Biz DFW, Support Black Owned, and Black Pages. Elsewhere, bloggers and influencers have also created lists.
“If you’ve previously visited a black-owned location, give it a positive rating on all platforms (Google, Yelp, etc.) I recently made a list of black-owned businesses that you can support without leaving your home. You can find it here, ”said Brandi Barnett of Brandis Food Diary. “My fundraisers stopped when COVID hit the US and continued to stop when the riots in the US peaked. My goal was to provide a scholarship to help a future entrepreneur through my organization called the COCOA Initiative, which means our money will open ways together. We want to be a resource for minority and women owned companies. “
In addition to Barnett’s list of black-owned companies, Dallasites 101 made a running list on their Instagram back in May 2020, focusing on restaurants. User comments provide additional facilities that are worth supporting.
Courtesy Legacy Hall
Take-away orders / delivery to black-owned restaurants
Every restaurant in the area has suffered a setback from forced closings due to COVID-19, but most turned to takeout and delivery almost immediately. Now that the virus is rising faster than ever, take-out and delivery remain a straightforward way to aid black-owned operations. Although the CDC still puts indoor dining at a higher risk, to the best of its knowledge, you can dine in a restaurant (or on the patio) instead of take away.
“There are many ways we can encourage consumers to buy goods and services from illicit companies. That seems ridiculous to say, but give us a chance, come eat or buy from us. Another request would be that our communities help spread the word, ”said Tiffany Derry, chef / restaurateur and owner of Roots Chicken Shak and Tiffany Derry Concepts. “Influencers come, newspapers and magazines write about our offer and, above all, our loyal customers, tell your friends.”
When you place takeaway and delivery orders on a restaurant’s website, see if they have a way to donate to an employee fund.
Simply ordering groceries is of course a direct way to support black-owned businesses. BurgerIM in the West End, Carpenters Cafe & Catering in Fort Worth, Manna Juice in Mansfield, Rush Patisserie and Trailercakes in North Oak Cliff, Odoms Bar-B-Que in West Dallas, Hall’s Honey-Fried Chicken in the Medical District and Roots Chicken Shak in Plano are just a handful of the many available to satisfy your cravings. See any of the corporate directories above for a full list of black owned restaurants.
Courtesy of Keeping Families Connected
Support important organizations
Nonprofit groups and other community organizations are always a great way to make a donation to a trusted team of people who understand how your money can best make a local impact.
Organizations that can help these communities include Keeping Families Connected, a local nonprofit that provides families of incarcerated loved ones with free transportation to and from correctional facilities. The Chris Howell Foundation, an organization that distributed 28,000 PPE care kits and 910,000 pounds of groceries to over 28,000 families in DFW from June 13 to December 14, Dallas Truth Racial Healing and Transformation, a community-driven vehicle for transforming Dallas Community and finally the land; Education Is Freedom, an organization dedicated to assisting students pursue a college education; the Dallas branch of the United Negro College Fund; local black churches; House of Rebirth, provider of services and resources to Black Trans women; the Dallas African American Museum; and the SM Wright Foundation, which provides support and stability to disadvantaged children and less fortunate families through hunger relief, economic empowerment, and education, health, and social services support.
Courtesy Dannette’s Urban Oasis
Buy goods, services, and gift cards online from black retailers
“The best way to help is always to support a brand. If you know of a black-owned company that might need help, just shop for or tell someone about them. Word of mouth is an important key to support, and we all know that word of mouth is spreading fast, ”said Wes Williams, Owner / Franchisee of BurgerIM in the West End. “We can all do our part to help black businesses in Texas. We’re all in the same boat.”
Fortunately for consumers in North Texas, there are numerous retail options when it comes to black-owned businesses. The following companies have online stores that make it easy and safe to purchase goods services and gift cards from the comfort of your own home.
Get out your credit card and visit the Pan-African Connection, bookstore, gallery, and community resource. My Ellevie, Unique and Natural, Danettes Urban Oasis, and Keith Clark Collection for beauty and personal care products; Sneaker Politics and Guns and Roses boutique for fashion and apparel; and eat. Sweat. Undress., A lifestyle brand that includes a fragrance from owner Alexia P. Hammonds, the first black woman to create a signature perfume collection in Grasse, France.
But don’t stop spending just yet. With M Case, a face mask case collection created by Luke Mack, a frontline healthcare professional, you can also find more items to buy or give away as gifts. Berkshire Farms Winery for everything from pinot noir to frozen wine pops; Fineapple Vegan for a very popular vegan cheese sauce and clothes for the whole family; digital cocktail books by Potent Pours and vegan BBQ cookbooks by AJ Jones; On-demand home workouts from VIVE Fitness available for any amount donated; or rent a luxury car like a Bentley or Lamborghini from Benny Black, the owner of Platinum Motorcars.
More ways to help?
Here is a list of the national organizations that we have compiled. If you have thoughts about other companies we’d like to include in our local stories, please email [email protected]
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Steven Lindsey is a thrillist.