So much affirmation of support for Black Lives Matter has been released by companies in the United States—in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota—that it is almost impossible to find an unused facet about which to write something new. My ‘inbox’ is full of it and it’s all beginning to sound the same.
Much of what corporations have released is boilerplate and, in some cases, does not nearly reflect the day to day policies of the companies that issue it. The obvious lurches toward compassion are cosmetic. A cynic might think they are released mainly to sustain profits.
The Washington Post addressed this view on 13 June 2020 in an article titled As big corporations say ‘black lives matter,’ their track records raise skepticism.
An article in the 12 June 2020 New York Times (“Target, Don’t Tell Me You ‘Stand With Black Families’ ”) is a counter flow to this outpouring. The writer, Doreen Oliver, relates the experience of her Black autistic son during a shopping spree at the North American giant corporation (Target).
In the end, her 13 year old faced a parking lot intervention by police because Target employees, having had no training in how to handle complex social situations involving people of color, called the police. Such events belie Target’s widespread, trumpeted ‘understanding’ and ‘commitment’.
The New York Times is also beginning to take up this topic in an article by Spencer Bokat-Lindell published 23 June 2020: Are Black Lives What Really Matter to Companies?
Don’t get us wrong—we welcome the outpouring. But amongst this disingenuous concern, unsupported by action we, on the other hand, have ‘put our money where our mouth is’ since our beginning.
We want to remind you that Spotted by Locals was founded on principles that embrace the acceptance of all people, everywhere. We have always encouraged people to pay attention, travel widely, learn more about new cultures and we have provided information necessary both to follow that beaten path and to get off it.
In trying to awaken the public—to shake it into consciousness—our New York City guide has covered Black (and Brown) owned businesses, especially in Harlem, for years.
We even pointed out businesses in Harlem that appear to be Black owned but aren’t. When they are featured, it is because the White owners have taken extra steps to mingle with and financially support people and causes that are inspired by the Harlem neighbourhoods that provide its customers and employees, distinguishing and making them worthy for inclusion.
We will continue our commitment and support just because we always have—it is our nature.
Please spread the word.
- Bodegas – NYC convenience stores
- Wall Street – NYC’s slave market
- Teranga – Senegalese food at the Africa Center
- Elsa La Reina Del Chicharron – Crackled pork
- Harlem’s Heaven Hats – Famous milliner 1
- Hats. by Bunn. – Famous milliner 2
- Diallo Cap USA – Team logo wear
- “A Great Day in Harlem” Site – Historic jazz site
- Harlem Heritage Cultural Center – Culture/music
- Lolo’s Seafood Shack – Caribbean/Cape Cod mashup
- Charles’ Pan Fried Chicken – Southern everything
- Terraza 7 – Colombian / Latin Nightclub
- Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market – West Africa Market
- Harlem Shake – Old school/new idea
- Harlem Burger – Affordable pedigree burgers
- Patisserie des Ambassades – Senegalese/French café
- Harlem Chocolate Factory – Edible Harlem history
- National Black Theater – Harlem
- Marcus Garvey Park – SummerStage Harlem
- Gospel Music – Harlem Sundays
- Rucker Park – NBA caliber street basketball
- Funktional Vibrations—X. Bailey – Subway Art 11
- New Life Juice Bar & Lounge – Harlem bar and lounge
- The Cage—West Village – Hoops & handball
- Chopped Cheese – ‘Drug dealer’ sandwich
- Studio Museum in Harlem – Artists of color
- The Seasoned Vegan – Food you love, veganized
- Parlour Jazz – Harlem legend Marjorie Eliot
- Minton’s Playhouse – Historic Harlem jazz club
- Sisters – Soul/Jamaica Fusion in Harlem
- Harlem Dive Bars – Paris Blues
- American Legion Post 398 – Hot Harlem night
- Sugar Bar – Soul, R&B, jazz bar
- Apollo Theater – Historic theater in Harlem
This is an article by our New York Spotter Geoffrey Dunbar. You can respond to and get in touch with Geoffrey directly with a text message to +1(646) 809-2792.