So here we are, another Black History Month. Another deluge of businesses trying to show off their diversity by adding some black people to their grids, or some soulful music to their commercials in a desperate attempt to show everyone their support. What a joke. Black history is American history, and needs to be celebrated and integrated year round. Full stop. Well, unless you live in Florida…then guess you’ll have to settle for a whitewashed history full of lies and omissions. Sucks for you.
By now you know that Highbrow Hippie resides on a street that’s been referred to as the “coolest street in America” (gag). It has 100 plus businesses that exist on its over 2 mile stretch, but only one owned by black women. Us. Which we often giggle about because let’s be real, anything that is considered cool in this country has been influenced by black people, but yet somehow we are only ones here.
Where are the others?? If we were to take an educated guess, the lack of presence is due to the myriad of systemic roadblocks that begins with the lack of access to capital. Black women start businesses at 4 times the rate of others, and get the least funding - the most people in the room and yet the least amount of dollars. Make that make sense.
If you’ve followed us for awhile, you know how we feel about the good, bad, and ugly of capitalism. We seek equity in many things - among them education, medical care, AND economic opportunities. We’re here to take up space. To be paid fairly and equitably. To have fair access to capital so we can begin to undo centuries of discrimination and continue to create generational wealth in our communities and for our children. And speaking of our children, they deserve to grow old too.
The death of Tyre Nichols has left us shaken, like it has everyone. The footage of his murder touted in the media like the latest Netflix drop or reality show, is not only disturbing to the core, its downright traumatizing. It subliminally continues to normalize the death of black people and it’s not okay. We refuse to let black death be used as a form of entertainment and so should you. From Emmett Till to Rodney King and countless others, enough. So while Ron DeSantis tries to erase history, rest assured we’ll amplify it even louder. Society wants you to see the worst, but we’ll continue to show you the best. The joy. The excellence. The resilience. The talent. This month, we will elevate our black sisters and brothers by spotlighting black owned businesses in our local communities and across the country. We aim to give them access to both eyes and capital. We encourage you to follow along and learn, discover and most importantly, spend your dollars where it counts.
We will continue to use our platform to amplify and celebrate all that is black and continue to be a brave space that builds and uplifts our community, while advocating for our emotional and mental well being.
Our daily mantras and Monday quotes will all be from black individuals. We hope this journey makes you think, and we hope it makes you act. Not only this month, but every month of the year. Let it be a collective learning space and exercise. Commit to the effort and the work to learn, and please share and amplify. Let’s do this together.