"Buy Black," Victoria woman urges people to support black owned businesses 

People crowd in Centennial Square for the Black Lives Matter protest in Victoria after the death of George Floyd, Photo by Colin Smith Takes Pics

Amid protests on both sides of the border against racism following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a Victoria woman is urging people to support local Black-owned businesses. 

Stephanie Sweetnam, along with help from allies and friends, compiled a growing list of all the businesses owned by Black people in the Greater Victoria area. 

"I think that with everything that's happening with the protests and people becoming more aware of how much racism exists in the world, especially anti-blackness, in Victoria, people are wanting to be allies and do the work and support folks who are struggling. I thought that supporting Black businesses would be a good way to do that."  

As of Thursday night, the post had been shared over 440 times, which Sweetnam said she did not expect. 

"I'm super surprised that it's been reposted so much but I also feel overwhelmed by the support from the community in Victoria, it's great to see that people are rallying behind the black population here." 

Sweetnam said that as a Black person who has lived in Canada for her whole life, racism is alive and well here too. 

"I don't know why we villify America so much, because that same racism exists in Canada and I've experienced it my entire life. Victoria is not innocent in that, there's a lot of subtle insidious racism that lies here."  

She says the increasing unrest from the United States takes a toll on the Black community in Victoria.  

"The unrest feels really upsetting. I think a lot of Black people are really traumatized by the news and overwhelmed. A lot of us are having to do a lot of emotional labour, teaching people, educating people, adovocating for ourselves, and to be honest I'm just absolutely exhausted, I'm mad, I'm sad," said Sweetnam. 

For the White Canadians grappling with the acceptance that racism exists at the same level in Canada as it does in the United States, Sweetnam offered these words: 

"It takes a lot of work on yourself and humility to accept that all countries, Canada and America and everywhere else, is inherently racist because systematic racism is real. This whole system is built on this belief that bodies of colour are less important than White bodies." 

For those who would like to support our local Black community, below is the list of Black-owned businesses in Victoria: 

Island Afrikan Supermarket @island_afrikan_supermarket
Mount Tolmie Market (mount-tolmie-market.business.site)
The Blue Nile @thebluenilevictoria
Stir It Up @stiritupvictoria
Caribbean Village @caribbeanvillagecafe
House of Boateng @houseofboateng
Lulu’s Apron @lulusapron
Chef Nimz @chefnimz
Messob Ethiopian Cuisine (messobethiopiancuisine.com)
The Rolling Reef @therollingreefyyj
The Local @thelocalvictoria
Yummy Food Truck
Le Petit Dakar (lepetitdakar.com)
Nalia Ju Cuisine @naliajucuisine
Sarpino’s @ Head & Esquimalt
Food, Cultures & Beyond @foodculturesandbeyond
Status Barbershop @statusbarbershop
Who Dyd Your Hair @whodydyourhair
Liberty Barbers @libertybarbersvictoria
Mo Cutz @mocutz
Kande Global Hair Couturiere @kandeglobalhair
Chrissy’s Afro Textured Hair (Chrissy's Afro-Textured Hair)
N8 Images @n8images
Adah’s Photography @adahs_photography
I Dream in Decor @idreamindecor
The Native Hub @thenativehub
SW Creations @_swcreations_
C-Lashes @c_lashess
Randee Beauty @randeebeauty
MK Beauty @_mk__beauty
Shea Butter Market @sheabuttermarket
Victoria Africa Fest @vicafricafest (africafest.ca)
Strictly Roots Events @clean_heart_youth_
DJ Nova Jade @djnovajade
Merge Combat and Fitness
Storm Fit Nation @stormfitnationtraining
Flight Basketball @flightbasketballvictoria
The Grind Basketball @thegrind.basketball
Clash of Arrows @clashofarrows
Doula Jay Duncan @doulajay
Greenz Painting @greenzpaintingltd
Purity Clean Victoria (puritycleanvictoria.com)
Juniper Consulting (juniperconsulting.ca)
One Love Consulting (oneloveconsulting.com)
Louise Rose Speaker and Musician (lrose.com)
Pablo Cardenas Musician (Pablo Cardenas)
Maureen Washington (maureenwashington.ca)
Ademola Farinu
Kiteke Real Estate (kiteke.ca)
Kulea Love - Silvia Mangue (kulealove.com)
I Want to Be Drop-In Play Centre (iwanttobe.ca)
Dre Searle @suburbiakills
E. Creations @enigma_creations_
Emmanuel Okee @udammafashion
Luxi Grow @luxigrow_official
Daily Dose Society
STS Pharmacy (pharmachoice.com/locations/sts-pain-pharmacy/)
The Table @thisistabletalk
LSV Coaching (lsvcoaching.com/)
The Inclusion Project (theinclusionproject.com)
Sista Health Evolve Network @sistahealthevolve
Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour (Support Network for Indigenous Women & Women of Colour - sniwwoc)
Binkandi Community Servives (binkandi.ca)
African-Caribbean Arts and Cultural Society (African-Caribbean Arts & Cultural Society)
Morrison Law - Marie Morrison (250-388-9003)
Penja Imports Exports (penjainc.com)
Pamela Sylvan @pamelasylvanmojomaker
OT Construction (otconstruction.ca)


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