Freedom Home Academy, 9501 S. Dorchester Ave., is the site of an all-Black vendors market in planned for Black Friday. | Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The Black Gallery and the Black Mall have partnered for a Buy Black Friday event in hopes of highlighting Black entrepreneurship on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
The “black” in Black Friday refers to the impact that one of the year’s busiest shopping days has businesses’ bottom line.
But Enama, a local artist, also wants it to reflect the support for Black-owned businesses.
That’s why the 18-year-old created the Black Gallery, a vendors market scheduled for Friday that will focus on Black-owned businesses.
“It’s always about Walmart and Lowe’s and Old Navy,” said Enama. But she wanted to “make this holiday … about Black entrepreneurship, about Black business, investing in Black people and Black communities.”
The Black Gallery — slogan: “Keeping Black Friday BLACK” — will feature more than 40 Black-owned businesses at the Freedom Home Academy, 9501 S. Dorchester Ave.
Everyone involved in the production — from designers to artists to the DJ to the featured businesses — are Black.
“We’re trying to give people a space to network, get exposure and to gain traction,” Enama said. “There’s a lot of really talented Black artists, Black businesses, just Black people, especially in Chicago, who don’t necessarily get the exposure that they should get.”
Friday’s Black Gallery will have dozens of participants.
One of those businesses is Mind How You Go fashion, founded by designer Juliana Gueno.
“It’s such a beautiful thing that we didn’t need anyone but ourselves to make this happen,” said Gueno, 24. “I feel like it’s just very powerful that we were all able to connect with each other out there in the artist community in the city.”
Gueno created her brand three years ago, inspired by childhood memories. The brand name is a throwback from advice her father used to tell her and her brother, Troy, anytime they left the house.
Gueno’s table will feature some of her newer designs, and she said she’s looking forward to meeting other Black artists at the event.
“I hope to see how people respond to the newer work that they haven’t seen yet from me,” she said. “I hope to just have fun and celebrate the hard work that all of us are doing.”
The vendors market runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. followed by a fashion show of Black brands from 8 to 9 p.m.
Juliana Gueno is one of 40 Black vendors featured at Friday’s event with her clothing brand, Mind How You Go.
Friday’s event is being held in partnership with the Black Mall, an organization that looks to “make Black brands household names,” said founder Cassiopeia Uhuru.
Uhuru created the Black Mall 10 years ago with her fiancé, Dre Meekins, and three friends with a goal of getting people to understand the importance of buying Black. But, Uhuru said, it was like …read more
Source:: Chicago Sun Times
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