Across the nation, protests in every state have advocated for an end to police brutality in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In light of the racial and societal strains that recent events have augmented, as well as the added pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, here are several Boston-based Black-owned businesses and creators to check out.
For the Beauty Guru
Operated by Boston University alum Jessenia Landrum, this jewelry company specializes in earrings, necklaces and rings, all manufactured in the U.S. Many of Jevela’s collections are inspired by non-white cultures, such as the Deities Collection, which examines the religious and historical customs of India.
This Dorchester nail salon is run by mother-daughter duo Dana Bonner and Florence Taylor. The salon just opened in February, selling acrylics and offering nail appointments from 30 minutes to two-and-a-half hours. Its Instagram page, @pinkandprettyceo, showcases the nail technicians’ intricate artistic works.
This online makeup artist has been in the business for more than six years, amassing thousands of social media followers and developing her own soap brand, Curative Soaps. Taki Jayy recently showed off her MUA expertise in an Instagram Live event and is increasing shipping inventory in her store.
For the Fashionista
Founded by Boston-born Keisha Glover in 2015, PSL Boutique is a female fashion initiative that seeks to empower Black women through progressive womenswear and accessories. The store now has locations in Mattapan and Randolph, Mass.
iLoveFGC is a pop-up boutique selling jewelry and accessories, and now offers customized face masks and filters. FGC — which stands for Fly Girl Couture — prides itself on fashion-forward and Black-centric design elements.
Clothing influencer and styler Warlene Rene creates outfits and collects specific aesthetic pieces to share with her 7,000 Instagram followers. Rene also operates a bridal shop called The Glamouring.
For the Artist
Launched by Massachusetts photographer Emmanuel Boakye Appiah, NewGenn shoots bold and compelling individual portraits and intimate wedding photos, focusing on POC and the culture of minorities.
Mack is a graphic designer and part-time visual artist who works out of her home studio in Boston. In response to the stay-at-home advisories placed in March, she has hosted several online livestreams and painting workshops to inspire others interested in the craft.
Specializing in scenic outdoor landscapes and light-washed filters, Anderky is a curator of aesthetic travel photography on Instagram. Her photos often include a personal anecdote or inspiring message about higher philosophies and religions.
To Feed the Stomach
The Coast Café
This Cambridge-based “savory soul food” joint has served Southern comfort food, including fried chicken and BBQ wings, since 1997. The restaurant emphasizes its family-like atmosphere and hospitality to its loyal patrons.
233 River St., Cambridge, MA 02139
Rock City Pizza
This Allston staple is open late nights seven days a week, which often brings in the BU fraternity crowd. With burgers, wings and subs, Rock City is a University hub that also offers monthly student discounts.
568 Cambridge St., Allston, MA 02134
Lucy Ethiopian Cafe
Tucked in Back Bay near Symphony Hall, this casual eatery offers dishes and flavors unique to Ethiopia. Try its Ayib Tikl, Gomen Besiga or spicy Che’Che’Bsa, and explore unfamiliar cuisine.
334 Massachusetts Ave., Boston, MA 02115
To Feed the Soul
This queer-run literary organization carries educational and fundamental reading on the person-of-color experience as well as that of other minority groups. The bookstore recently showcased Richard Powell’s “To Conserve a Legacy,” which centers around art in historically Black colleges.
Host Emmanuel Vincent discusses sports and entertainment with different guests each episode. Airing from Cambridge, the show is now 42 episodes strong. The most recent installment centers on the NBA return and George Floyd’s death.
A writer and scholar, Mbeki is the modern, minimalist author of her poetry collection “Summer of Pink.” As a Jamician-American academic, she shares her life, bemusings and poetry on her Instagram page, @gabbymbeki, for her nearly 11,000 fans.