February is Black history month, chosen because the month coincides with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln – two luminaries who played a critical role in the abolition of slavery. While we can spend this month reflecting on Black history, it is crucial to learn about our collective history from the perspectives and lenses of Black and Brown individuals.
One way to celebrate Black successes and continue to foster prosperity in historically or systematically disadvantaged communities is to shop Black-owned businesses. Shopping from businesses owned by Black Americans accelerates financial success and equity in the commercial and entrepreneurial spaces. Additionally, Black-owned businesses are more likely to hire Black employees, creating a ripple effect for the community and working to right the wrongs of racism and discrimination that curtailed the possibilities of Black people from pursuing wealth and financial stability. Here are some local Black-owned businesses that deserve patronage, not just in the month of February, but year-round.
For over two decades, this Provence-inspired establishment has been serving Boulderites fresh, local dishes from a seasonal menu. Owner Matthew Jansen grew up in Boulder and cut his teeth in various restaurants around town. He wanted to create an uncomplicated and welcoming restaurant that created high-quality food and upscale wines – thus, Mateo was born. From special events to low-key evenings out on the town, this Pearl Street haunt waits to welcome you with nourishing food and friendly smiles. With vibrant local artists featured in their interior decor and a picturesque patio perfect for people watching, Mateo is a Boulder staple.
Ja’Mal Gilmore, owner of Brooklyn Barbers, got his start in the industry by cutting hair in Brooklyn, New York at the young age of 15. After moving to Colorado, Gilmore continued honing his craft at Floyd’s, Urban Pearl Salon, and Paul Morrison Colours. Decades of experience, a wide array of styling talents and a loyal following speak to Gilmore’s success. The team at this experienced salon works with all hair types, styles and colors, so book an appointment to get a fresh cut here.
The Fourth House
A clean, bright and clutter-free aesthetic is what Bret Alexandra’s The Fourth House is all about. She curates gorgeous spaces that foster relaxation and tranquility. Alexandra partners with home owners and new home buyers to design rooms that work with their lifestyles and interior design dreams. Alexandra goes above and beyond, working to create safety and security through interior design so home dwellers will feel powerful and rooted every time they return to their sanctuaries.
Maids and Beyond
Maids and Beyond was created by Boulder resident and entrepreneur, Jamillah Richmond. Maids and Beyond specializes in full-spectrum residential, commercial and vacation rental cleaning and has an incredible reputation for going above and beyond for clients.
Adderly Grant-Lloyd has invested her life’s energy into creating art as an offering of beauty and liberation for those who interact with each of her many pieces. Vibrant colors burst from the canvas, creating whimsical shapes and invoking playful emotions. Each painting of Adderly’s is completely different and inspirational. Interesting pops of color play with shadows and light, creating three-dimensional worlds you can’t help but marvel at. Shop Adderly’s online gallery to experience it yourself.
For the most part, American history has been told, recorded and shared by white individuals, leaving out very important narratives and diverse perspectives. This narrow snapshot of history has perpetuated biases, stereotypes and racism. Beyond the month of February, commit to supporting Black-owned businesses and commit to learning American history from non-white sources.