February is Black History Month, the perfect occasion to list some Chicago-based Black-owned businesses and organizations you can support.
Juice@1340 a wine shop and bar in the West Loop survived the pandemic due to being a haven for hospital staff working long hours at the nearby Illinois Medical District. Once restrictions were lifted, Juice@1340 relaunched on Juneteenth. The space was redesigned to reflect a chill vibe, with a second-floor lounge overhang. Follow Juice @ 1340 on Instagram to stay in the loop of the fun events (both in person and virtual) they host on a weekly basis, including free wine tastings on Thursdays.
Acronym BLACK-WHITE-YELLOW-BROWN, this clothing brand was designed to help fill in the gap of racial divide, stop racial hate, and bring people together regardless of race, culture, or ethnicity through clothes. This brand has everything from beanies to mugs, and hoodies. Wearing the BWYB apparel
Semicolon is a Black women-owned bookstore and gallery space. This bookstore was designed with the community in mind. During the pandemic, the future of the store was unknown, so Semicolon donated all the books to CPS students. Since the first donation, they have given away over $350k worth of books to Chicago students. This bookstore is committed to having a direct impact on raising literacy rates in Chicago and beyond. To bring change the store already invites CPS students to the store every month to clear the shelves. These books are free of charge for the students, and they can take home whatever books they’d like.
Urban Growers Collective
A Black women-owned nonprofit farm in Chicago, working to build a fairer local food system. Urban Growers Collective provides hands-on job training and creates economic opportunities for youth, beginner BIPOC farmers, and men who are at high risk for gun violence. They aim to provide jobs while working to ease food insecurity and limited access to affordable, and nutrition-packed food. This nonprofit created eight urban farms on 11 acres of land, predominantly located on Chicago’s South Side. Moreover, they aim to address the inequalities and racism that exist in the food system and communities of color. Based on growing food, their mission is to create beneficial environments that support health, economic development, healing, and creativity through urban agriculture.
I am loving this and will certainly take advantage of frequenting these businesses.