George Floyd was a Black man and a father; he was described by his loved ones as a "gentle giant," and was once an active part of the Houston hip-hop community. On May 25, Floyd died in Minneapolis after police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Late last week, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that Chauvin will now face charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but protests have continued nationwide in support of justice for Floyd and the Black community, demanding an end to police brutality and institutional racism. Building on the Black Lives Matter movement, which was founded in 2013 in response to the killing of Trayvon Martin, the current protests are a call for the dignity and protection of Black lives, and a denouncement of the white supremacist systems that threaten Black people and communities. According to Mapping Police Violence, Black people are three times more likely to be killed by the police than white people, and though they constitute just 13 percent of the US population, Black people account for 24 percent of all people killed by police.
While participating in protests or donating to bail funds might seem like the most direct course of action right now, supporting Black communities in the United States requires longer-term efforts, too; having received $20 million in support, the Minnesota Freedom Fund has since encouraged people to divert their money to the Floyd family's GoFundMe, as well as community organizations like Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block.
One of the easiest ways we can show lasting support for the Black people in our communities is by putting our money where our mouths are. That means actively supporting Black-owned businesses in everyday life, including Black-owned restaurants. As writer Angela Burke explained in Eater, "Black restaurant owners, [B]lack women especially, are in a more precarious position from the get-go," noting that Black- and brown-owned businesses are three times as likely to be denied loans and that Black restaurant workers are the lowest paid in the industry. The precarious nature of these businesses has been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately infected and killed Black people in the US.
Many of us are seeking ways to show up for Black communities in this time of crisis. Attending protests and sharing information on social media are useful to raise awareness, but long-term efforts toward change require longer-lasting support. If we believe that Black lives matter, then we must ensure that moving forward, our everyday actions speak to our values.
Here are some resources for getting started.
Find and support Black-owned restaurants in your area.
Below are some of the many articles and spreadsheets compiling these businesses in most major cities in the US.
Austin (h/t Austin360)
Boston (h/t the Boston Globe)
Charlotte (h/t QCityMetro)
Cincinnati (h/t the Cincinnati Enquirer)
Cleveland (h/t Cleveland Scene)
Denver (h/t 303 Magazine)
Detroit (h/t Detroit Metro Times)
Greenville (h/t Greenville News)
Houston (h/t Houston Chronicle)
Indianapolis (h/t Visit Indy)
Kansas City (h/t the Community Voice)
Minneapolis (h/t City Pages)
New England (h/t Yankee Magazine)
New Jersey (h/t NJ.com)
Orlando (h/t Orlando Weekly)
Portland, Maine (h/t TravelNoire)
Rhode Island (h/t Jennifer Volpe Douglas)
Sacramento (h/t Sacramento Bee)
San Antonio (h/t San Antonio Magazine)
Don't see your city? These resources will help you find Black-owned restaurants and food businesses near you.
- Consult directories like Black People Eats, Eat Black Owned, Support Black Owned, and the Eat Okra app.
- Websites like ShoppeBlack and TravelNoire put a focus on Black-owned businesses.
- Follow hashtags like #blackownedrestaurants.
- This post from VegNews shares Black-owned vegan restaurants across the country.
- The BAOBAB Directory is an organization of Black-owned businesses in the Bay Area.
- The AfroBiz directory is a resource for Black-owned businesses across Europe and across Canada.
- UK Black Owned Businesses is a resource for Black-owned businesses across the United Kingdom.
- @blackbeertravelers has created a map of Black-owned breweries, taprooms, and vineyards across the US.
- Instagram accounts like @officialblackownedchicago and @blackownedbklyn highlight Black-owned restaurants and businesses.
These campaigns directly help Black-owned businesses and families in need following recent protests.
- This Twitter thread and this Twitter thread share Black-owned businesses that have been affected by the protests and ways to help.
- Support Trio, the first 100% Black-owned vegan restaurant in Minneapolis. Owner Louis Hunter—a cousin of Philando Castile, who was killed by a police officer in 2016— closed his restaurant the night protests began in Minneapolis in solidarity with the community, as he told Bon Appétit.
- Support the family of David McAtee, a Black man and beloved barbecue chef who was fatally shot after police and national guard soldiers "returned fire" on a crowd of protestors in Louisville, Kentucky. McAtee's YaYa's BBQ was known for donating food to shelters and feeding police officers for free, per Buzzfeed News.
- Some Black-owned Minneapolis food businesses, like Bole Ethiopian Cuisine, Mama Safia's Kitchen, and Scores Bar, have already reached their goals—but consider offering them some extra funds as well.
And of course, even if you don't have money to provide at the moment, there are ways you can help Black-owned restaurants.
Know of a Black-owned restaurant in your area, but don't see it included on the above lists? Reach out to spreadsheet organizers or restaurant directories so it can be added. Share their posts and tag them on social media to help them pick up attention online. Don't see a spreadsheet of Black-owned restaurants for your city? Start one and circulate it on Twitter for people in your community to contribute. New Yorker writer Helen Rosner has aggregated many of these spreadsheets on her Instagram story highlights, and sharing that is easy.
Remember that information and amplification are also resources that we can share, and in the big picture, even the small choices we each make each day matter.