Volume 1, Special Issue: Make Black Friday Black

Hi friends! Today was supposed to be a post that digs deep, as is the every-other-week pattern; however, I am going to change things up a bit. This year there has been an emphasis on buying from Black-owned businesses and I do not want the momentum to slow, especially this time of year. But finding such businesses can be overwhelming or it’s just easier to order from the usual suspects (Amazon, Target, etc.). So, I wanted to give you a bunch of round-ups of Black-owned businesses as well as a couple of Indigenous-owned businesses. It’ll be similar to my Absolutely Massive List of Anti-Racist Resources but maybe a tad more organized. My hope is that you will not only shop this list now, during the winter holidays, but that you bookmark this list and regularly use it for gifts, home goods, and more.

A few notes:

  1. I have no idea if all these shops are having sales, but I know at least some of them are.

  2. Since these are mostly small businesses, many of them may sell out of certain items and also, some do say “The last day to order for shipping before Christmas is December 1st” so buy things sooner than later.

  3. None of these links are affiliate links for me. I’m not making any money off of promoting these brands other than newsletter subscriptions and tips.

  4. This list is by no means exhaustive and I reserve the right to update it as I come across more information. It will always be available on theinfophile.com.

Personal Favorites

  • Tal & Bert: Do you like beautiful things to hold air plants in? Or tea lights? Because I certainly do.

  • Hella Tea: The tea from this company is PHENOMENAL. Run, don’t walk, to their site. We have ordered so much tea from them both for ourselves and for gifts.

  • Feelmore: Looking for adult items? I’m talking about sex toys. This shop is owned by one of my favorite fellow Black queers that I have the pleasure of knowing. They do so much for the community here in Oakland and they’re also just a fucking rad person.

  • Rayo and Honey: I am OBSESSED with the banners from this company. I do not yet own one but I hope to someday.

  • Hilton Carter: More plant stuff! I am also OBSESSED with the propagation cradles from Hilton Carter. Sigh. Someday.

  • Self Love Tool Chest: I love this shop SO MUCH! I’ve bought a ton of stuff, including this “Hello, I’m Doing My Best” sticker pictured here:

  • Botanist Bee: Some amazing gifts for the plant-lover in your life, especially if that person is you.

  • Gothic Lamb: Goth clothing, but make the black even Blacker

  • Adorned by Chi: Black girls can be magical and like anime too!

  • Cantrip Candles: Do you like Dungeons & Dragons? Do you like thematic candles? I absolutely love this candle company. I met the creator at the Pasadena ComicCon in 2018, I think. I bought a couple candles that are absolutely delightful. Sanctuary, the Library Scriptorium, and Autumn Festival are my favorites. They are pretty strongly scented so I only light mine for a few minutes at a time.

  • UnoEth: Gorgeous leather bags. I do not yet own one, but they are totally swoon-worthy

  • Uncle Nearest Whiskey: This whiskey is an homage to the greatest whiskey-maker that history has kept hidden. The short story: Jack Daniels learned how to make whiskey from an enslaved Black man and took all the credit and success for it. I am so mad about it. And so is my dad, who received a bottle from my wife and I. If you order a bottle you can get it engraved, as we did (see photo below). My dad tasted it and said, “I’m never buying Jack Daniels ever again.” My dad doesn’t really curse, but if he did, I’m sure he’d say, “Fuck that guy.”

Image of a bottle of Uncle Nearest whiskey that is engraved with the text, “We love you dad” on one line then, “Suzi & Nicole” on the next line. There is a cloth bag and a catalog from Reserve Bar, the site the product shipped from.
Image of a bottle of Uncle Nearest whiskey that is engraved with the text, “We love you dad” on one line then, “Suzi & Nicole” on the next line. There is a cloth bag and a catalog from Reserve Bar, the site the product shipped from.
  • Lita + Ro: Queer, Black-owned candle company. I’ve not yet purchased from them, but they came as a personal recommendation to me.

  • Fréres Branchiaux: Three young brothers who are entrepreneurs and adorable candle makers! I’ve also not yet purchased from this company but I follow them on Instagram.

Black Bookstore Round-ups

I’m not going to recreate the wheel and list specific Black-owned bookshops. Instead, I’m going to post a bunch of lists that have already been made. If you’re going to get someone a book anyway, get it from one of these shops and not you-know-what-website. At the very least, support one of these shops or your local independent bookshop on Bookshop.org.

Site-specific Lists of Black Creators & Artists

Black-owned Shop Roundups from Social Media & Beyond

Click through to the threads. Give these folks a follow or a like or a RT/share.

  • Thread of Black-owned candle companies

  • Thread of Black-owned fashion

  • Thread of Black brands that sell essentials

  • Buy Black roundup

A post shared by Femislay (she/her) (@femislay)

Recommendations from YOU

After this was initially posted, I received some passionate emails and responses about shops that people want to include

Places to Donate (Personal Favorites)

I’ve mentioned many, many places to donate in my Absolutely Massive List of Anti-Racist Resources but below are a few that are personal favorites. Yes, most of them are focused on Queer and Trans Black people. I cannot stress how important it is to lift up those of us who have the least amount of privilege because when we lift up them, we support each and every one of us along the way.

  • Alive & Free: My life would likely be vastly different if not for this org. I owe them the world.

  • Oakland LGBTQ+ Center: My wife and I are queer and we are in Oakland, so of course I’m going to ask people to support our local center.

  • TGI Justice Project: Also in the San Francisco Bay Area, “TGI Justice Project is a group of transgender, gender variant and intersex people–inside and outside of prisons, jails and detention centers–creating a united family in the struggle for survival and freedom.”

  • The Okra Project: “The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them.”

That’s it for this week! If you enjoy this newsletter, please subscribe, share it with a friend, and/or give me a tip!

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