By : Popoai Tanuvasa-Lole
The segregation of African Americans from higher paying jobs and home ownership opportunities is a huge reason for today’s racial wealth gap. Jim Crow-era practices like this, in addition to redlining and job discrimination, have ultimately prevented wealth building within the Black community.
This brings us to the 1935 Social Security Act. This law created the Social Security program as well as insurance against unemployment. However, this policy did not afford coverage to domestic and agricultural workers, many of whom were African American, and its requirements for residency and payroll information also excluded the large number of African Americans working menial, “off the books” jobs and migrating North at the time.
Why Should You Care
Policies like this have existed for years and have contributed to the disproportion in generational wealth among citizens of the United States. Support Black Businesses means to combat racial injustice. The so-called “American Dream” is only for the few. Many people think that to succeed you need to grind and work hard for what you have in order to succeed. But certain barriers prevent certain people from doing just that.
31 percent of Black-owned businesses receive the funding they’ve applied for and COVID-19 has only exasperated issues for Black businesses across the U.S. 40 percent of Black-owned businesses have closed since lockdown, with many being systematically shut out from receiving federal assistance during the pandemic.
Black Lives Matter
With the BLM movement catching fire within the United States, you may wonder how to get involved. Some people are great at organizing and bringing people together. Many prefer to protest. And others create art that reflects the emotions and impact of social injustice within racial and ethnic communities. However, this may not be an option for some people. Well, an easy and convenient way to support the cause is to support your local Black-owned business.
Some great Black-owned businesses to support in the St.Louis Area include;
- Pharoah’s Donuts
- C. Oliver Coffee & Flower Bar
- Sweet Art Bakery
Disclaimer: as this series continues we will highlight many other Black-owned businesses in St.Louis as well.