How to Support the Black Community in Dallas Right Now

From restaurants and retailers to nonprofits and community organizations.

Cake Bar cake
Courtesy of Cake Bar

Black History Month officially begins on February 1. As the annual observance spreads to countries outside the United States, bringing the struggles and accomplishments of the Black community into an even brighter spotlight than usual, it’s important to find ways to show support year-round. Of course, as the pandemic threatens small businesses as much if not more than during initial lockdowns, keeping your dollars local goes a long way. From nonprofits and community efforts, to donating and supporting local businesses, here are some of the ways you can safely make a difference right now.

Support Black-owned businesses throughout North Texas

Several organizations have comprehensive directories of local Black-owned businesses, including the Dallas Black Chamber, Black Biz DFW, Support Black Owned, and Black Pages. Elsewhere, bloggers and influencers have created lists, too. 

“If you have previously visited a Black-owned location give them a positive review on all platforms (Google, Yelp, etc.). I recently created a list of black owned businesses to support without even leaving your house which you can find here,” said Brandi Barnett of Brandi’s Food Diary. “My fundraising efforts came to a halt when COVID hit the United States, and continued to be put on halt as civil unrest reached a head in the US. My goal was to provide a scholarship to help a future entrepreneur through my organization called the COCOA Initiative which means Collectively Our Cash Opens Avenues. We aim to be a resource to minority- and woman-owned businesses.”

In addition to Barnett’s list of black-owned businesses, Dallasites 101 created a running list on their Instagram back in May 2020 with a focus on restaurants. User comments provide additional establishments worth supporting.

Legacy Hall shawarma bowl
Courtesy of Legacy Hall

Order takeout/delivery from Black-owned restaurants

Every restaurant in the region suffered a setback from forced closures due to COVID-19, but most pivoted to offer takeout and delivery almost immediately. Now as the virus surges stronger than ever, takeout and delivery remain a direct way to support Black-owned operations. Though the CDC still places indoor dining at a higher risk level, you can use your best judgment when choosing to dine at a restaurant (or on its patio) in lieu of takeout.

“There are many ways that we can encourage consumers to purchase goods and services from Black-owned businesses. This seems ridiculous to say, but give us a chance, come eat or purchase from us. Another ask would be for our communities to help spread the word,” said Tiffany Derry, chef/restaurateur and owner of Roots Chicken Shak and Tiffany Derry Concepts. “Influencers come, newspapers and magazines write about what we offer, and most importantly to our loyal customers, tell your friends.”

When placing orders for takeout and delivery on a restaurant’s website, check to see if they have a way to donate to an employee fund.

Of course, simply ordering food is a direct way of supporting Black-owned businesses. BurgerIM in the West End, Carpenters Cafe & Catering in Fort Worth, Manna Juice in Mansfield, Rush Patisserie and Trailercakes in North Oak Cliff, Odom’s Bar-B-Que in West Dallas, Hall’s Honey-fried Chicken in the Medical District, and Roots Chicken Shak in Plano are but a handful of many available to feed your cravings. Refer back to one of the business directories above for a complete list of Black-owned eateries.

Keeping Families Connected
Courtesy of Keeping Families Connected

Support vital organizations

Non-profit groups and other community organizations will always be a great way to make a donation to a trustworthy team of people who understand the best ways your money can make an impact at the local level. 

Organizations that can help these communities include Keeping Families Connected, a local non-profit that provides free transportation to and from correctional facilities for families of incarcerated loved ones; the Chris Howell Foundation, an organization that handed out 28,000 PPE care packages and 910,000 pounds of food to over 28,000 families in DFW from June 13 to December 14, Dallas Truth Racial Healing and Transformation, a community-driven vehicle for change to transform the Dallas community and eventually the country; Education Is Freedom, an organization dedicated to helping students pursue a college education; the Dallas branch of the United Negro College Fund; local Black houses of worship; House of Rebirth, provider of services and resources for Black Trans women; the African American Museum of Dallas; and the S.M. Wright Foundation, which provides support and stability to underprivileged children and less fortunate families through hunger relief, economic empowerment, and assistance in the areas of education, health, and social services.

 

Dannette’s Urban Oasis
Courtesy of Dannette’s Urban Oasis

Purchase merchandise, services, and gift cards online from Black retailers

“The best way to help is always to support a brand. If you know of a Black-owned business that could need some help, simply make a purchase at that establishment or tell someone about that establishment. Word of mouth is a major key to support and we all know word travels fast,” said Wes Williams, owner/franchisee of BurgerIM in the West End. “We can each do our part to help out Black businesses in Texas. We are all in this together.”

Fortunately for consumers in North Texas, the retail options are plentiful when it comes to Black-owned businesses. The following entities have online stores, making it easy to purchase goods services and gift cards from the comfort and safety of home.

Get out your credit card and hit up Pan-African Connection, a bookstore, gallery, and community resource; My Ellevie, Unique and Natural, Danette’s Urban Oasis, and Keith Clark Collection for beauty and body care products; Sneaker Politics and Guns and Roses Boutique for fashion items and apparel; and Eat. Sweat. Undress., a lifestyle brand that includes a fragrance by owner Alexia P. Hammonds, the first Black woman to create a signature perfume collection in Grasse, France.

But don’t stop spending just yet. You can also find more things you need yourself or for gift-giving with M Case, a face mask case collection created by frontline healthcare worker Luke Mack; Berkshire Farms Winery for everything from Pinot Noir to frozen wine pops; Fineapple Vegan for a super-popular vegan cheese sauce and apparel for the entire family; digital cocktail books from Potent Pours and vegan BBQ cookbooks from AJ Jones; on-demand home workouts from VIVE Fitness available for any donation amount; or lease a luxury car, such as a Bentley or Lamborghini from Benny Black, owner of Platinum Motorcars.

More ways to help?

Check out a list of national organizations we've compiled here. If you have thoughts on other businesses you'd like to see included in our local stories, please email feedback@thrillist.com.

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Steven Lindsey is a Thrillist contributor.