It is my fourth day visiting my hometown, and I consciously made a decision to shop small and shop Black. In my Parkdale neighbourhood, that was easy. The Black-owned West Indian supermarkets and roti restaurants have been routine stops for me, and my family, for a while. A
nd besides, they have good breadfruit and yams.
In other areas, like fashion, Toronto is lacking in modern styles and it’s temptingly easier to shop at H&M or Zara. But there are Black owned and stylish shops out there, if you dig.
For my 2 year old son, I switched from buying his clothes from GAP Kids, H&M and NUNUNU to Black owned Quinn + Fox, as well as Louis B KiJewshand Yinibinibaby. It can be difficult to discern which brands are Black owned, and which are simply advertising an urban appeal like the shoe brand Akid Brand, which has dope shoes but is owned by an already, affluent Californian white couple.
I want to support Black enterprise because it is a cornerstone of unity. Look at any ethnic communities in Toronto: Chinatown has Chinese people shopping at Chinese shops; Little India and Little Portugal and Little Italy have the same thing. Predominantly Jewish Forest Hill is a thriving grove of Jewish owned businesses and homes. We, the Black community, need to continue supporting Black owned enterprise instead of the businesses of the dominant culture. That way, when we rise collectively and individually, we can count on the sustained support of our own people. How powerful is that? Btw, Carol’s Daughter is owned by L’Oreal now. Let’s build our communities, support each other and see our integrity and accomplishments grow.