PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — On a day famous for big savings and even bigger crowds, one group of people in Portland decided to shift the focus to local Black business owners.
The group organized an event in Irving Park on Friday featuring performances, speakers and vendors with the goal of encouraging members of the community to support Black business owners and artists every day of the year.
Freddie, who owns United We Stand, sold t-shirts and bracelets at the event. He told KOIN 6 News he was happy with the turnout.
“We haven’t seen this in a long time. It means a lot. People are coming together and uniting under one cause,” Freddie said. “I want people to strive toward real freedom, truth and justice and equality.”
A woman named Ragina who helped organize the event said about 10 businesses joined the Black Friday event.
“It’s time to redistribute white wealth into Black communities,” she said, adding that she was also glad to see the support from those who showed up. “It’s a great first step from the white community.”
But Ragina said more needs to be done moving forward.
“You can continue to invest in Black people and in the community,” she said. “Buy Black every day — not just today.”
BlackPDX.com serves as a virtual community hub created to amplify the voices and messages of the Black community in the Portland metro area, with the ultimate goal of improving economic conditions for Black families. They offer assistance to business owners, non-profits, creatives and other organizations.
The Black American Chamber of Commerce is an organization that serves the greater Portland area. Launched on June 19, 2019, the anniversary of the day slavery was ended, BACC offers services that include networking events, referrals, marketing, student scholarships for higher education provided through fundraising and more. Follow them on Facebook to keep up-to-date on their latest events.
Fitness Instructors of Color is an Instagram page that highlights and supports those who are leading the fitness industry in the Pacific Northwest who are Black, indigenous and people of color. Follow them for photos and stories about fitness instructors of color, inspiring quotes and suggestions of tangible ways to support Black fitness leaders in your area.
KOIN 6 enterprise reporter Danny Peterson contributed to this story.