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3 Ways to Support the Black Community in Los Angeles

Since the start of the pandemic, Black communities across the United States have suffered disproportionately to other racial groups in the face of the coronavirus. In May, new statistics compiled by the non-partisan APM Research Lab provided further evidence of the staggering discrepancy in the COVID-19 death rate between black and white Americans. In fact, more than 20,000 African Americans have died from the coronavirus. That’s almost three times the death rate of white Americans.

Set against the background of a nation in a serious health and economic crisis, people across Los Angeles and the rest of the U.S. have risen up to protest blatant injustices and disavow police brutality against Black Americans. Unfortunately, this movement has been met with further violence and unrest, putting even more Black lives in danger.

If you are looking for ways to make an impact and put your words and frustrations to action, consider the following suggestions on how to help LA-based black-owned businesses and black-led organizations.

Donate to Nonprofits and Community Efforts

Donating is the simplest way to support not only the Black Lives Matter movement but your local black community in general. Here are a few organizations who could use your support:

Order Delivery/Takeout and Buy Gift Cards from Black-Owned Restaurants

While many restaurants remain closed to protect the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, some establishments are continuing to offer delivery and takeout options. We also encourage LA residents to purchase gift cards to their favorite black-owned restaurants for future use. Here are a few must-try eateries:

  • Comfort LA: A “clean” approach to soul food, Comfort LA uses fresh, locally sourced, organic ingredients for delicious Southern cuisine.
  • Azla: Fresh, vegan Ethiopian meals.
  • Family Fish Market: Fish, shrimp, and oysters by the pound as well as dinner and lunch meal specials.
  • Fun Diggity: Dessert shop featuring “Build Your Own” funnel cake.
  • The Serving Spoon: Diner-style menu, serving breakfast, lunch, and catering.

Shop at Black-Owned Businesses in LA

There are roughly 28 million small businesses in the United States. And there are hundreds of black-owned businesses in Los Angeles, so this list is certainly not exhaustive. Not even close. But to give you a taste of some of the incredible shops you’re encouraged to patronize, we’ve compiled a short list below:

  • Eso Won Books: An independently owned bookstore in Leimert Park; offers online shopping.
  • Shades of Afrika: Two locations – Long Beach and Corona. A shop for African-American literature, aromatherapy, Black art, custom framing, dashikis, essential oils and holistic products, natural hair care products, and more.
  • 45 Three Modern Vintage Home: Features midcentury modern furniture, art, antiques, and accessories.
  • Logan’s Gardens: Over 1,000 varieties of heirloom edible plants.
  • FKSP: Stylish, accessible women’s clothing ethically produced in Los Angeles.

Spend your money where it can make the greatest impact. That’s not just small businesses, but small businesses owned and operated by your friends and neighbors who have been hit the hardest by both the pandemic and America’s cultural and political unrest. For instance, while specialty jewelers generate more than 43% of the industry’s total U.S. sales, many are small businesses who may be struggling to keep the lights on during the pandemic. And many small businesses in Los Angeles and across the country are essential to the Black community — providing jobs, income, goods and services, and a sense of togetherness.

Photo By: Clay Banks

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