As the fight to end systemic racism rages on, protesters in all 50 states and around the world are calling for an end to police brutality and for justice in the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and innumerable others. People everywhere are signing petitions, devoting their dollars to organizations committed to combating racial injustice, contacting their elected officials, educating themselves and others, and filling up their social media real–estate with posts promoting the cause.
There is no one correct way to fight racial injustice. Beyond turning to social media for education, there are many different courses of action that you can take to both amplify the voices of the Black community and catalyze actual change in our system—including using your buying power to support the hundreds of black–owned businesses in the Philadelphia community.
Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse
The brainchild of former Temple student Ariell Johnson, Amalgam is a comic book store and a coffee shop rolled into one. Showcasing both big–name and self–published stories that comic lovers of all ages can enjoy, Amalgam is North Philly’s hub of geek culture. First opening its doors in 2015, Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse has been celebrated in the national media for its dedication to representation and inclusion. Not only does this store boast the title of being the only black–woman owned shop of its kind, it’s also the first black–woman owned comic book store on the East Coast.
COVID-19 Note: Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse is currently closed, though online ordering is still available.
Location: 2578 Frankford Ave.
More like this: Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books, Harriett’s Bookshop, Black and Nobel, Hakim’s Bookstore
48th Street Grille
Located in the heart of West Philly, 48th Street Grille is known for serving up a colorful selection of Caribbean– and American–inspired dishes. Visitors to this beloved casual joint are invited to sit back and relax while digging into some of chef and owner Carl Lewis’ signature dishes—all of which are made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. From jerk chicken sandwiches to rasta pasta to shrimp and grits, 48th Street Grille brings a true taste of the Carribean to the City of Brotherly Love.
COVID-19 Note: 48th Street Grille is currently only available for take–out.
Location: 310 S. 48th St.
To find more restaurants to support, check out this spreadsheet devoted to black–owned Philly restaurants.
Philly Art Collective Gallery
Founded by artist Martell Oliver, the Philly Art Collective serves as a platform for local artists to promote their work. The collective hosts several events every month, including the HERspace Women’s Art Festival and exhibits playing tribute to influential musical artists such as Aaliyah and Frank Ocean, which showcase dozens of creators. In the spirit of giving back to the community, the Philly Art Collective also collects donations through ticket sales to support local causes, such as opening the Black Bird Community Center–a “place for black and brown youth to learn and experiment with multidisciplinary arts.”
Location: 253 N. 3rd St.
More like this: Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and October Gallery
Beauty & Wellness
As Northern Liberties’ premier holistic wellness boutique, Freedom Apothecary is your one–stop shop for toxin–free skincare and beauty products. Customers can browse the apothecary’s vast selection of all–natural body butters, oils, face masks, and more, or formulate a personalized product with a skincare specialist at the Blend Bar. Beyond promoting self–care products, owners Morrisa Jenkins and Bonkosi Horn intend for the apothecary to be a community space where women, especially black women and women of color, can find connection and support.
COVID-19 Note: While the doors to Freedom Apothecary may temporarily be closed, their online store is still up and running.
Location: 736 N. 2nd St.
More like this: Marsh & Mane
Awarded Best of Philly Plus–Size Budget Friendly Fashion in 2019, Curve Conscious offers trendy, gently used apparel, shoes, and accessories in women’s sizes 12 to 28. Since 2016, this Brewerytown boutique has been celebrated for its commitment to both body positivity and to promoting sustainable shopping. In addition to shopping for stylish pieces from popular brands like Forever 21, Lane Bryant, and Torrid at a fraction of retail price, at Curve Conscious you can also sell or swap pieces from your own wardrobe that you no longer have use for.
COVID-19 Note: Curve Conscious is currently closed, but you can still show your support by purchasing a gift card online.
Location: 5312 Germantown Ave.
More like this: Perfectly Flawless Boutique, Dolly’s Boutique and Consignment, Blue Sole Shoes, The Sable Collective
The Black community needs our support now more than ever, and supporting the black–owned businesses in our own backyard is just one of the ways that we can be part of the change. And while this list is by no means complete, hopefully it can serve as a starting point.