Black Lives Matter: Beyond the Yard Sign. So, you've asked, 'What can I DO?'
One way to put your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting Black lives: support Evanston's Black-owned businesses.
Also, support Black-owned banks, which in turn invest in black communities. A good place to start is @BankBlackUSA or Bank Black.
Many of us white and non-Black people are asking what we can DO in the face of the devastating toll Covid-19 has taken on our Black and brown community and in the aftermath of yet another brutal murder of a Black man at the hands of white police.
Soon I'll be posting a long list of books to read, local organizations and initiatives to support, and other ways you can start--or continue--to be involved in working toward racial justice in our community.
One (of many) crucial step you can take to play a part in repairing past and current harm to our Black brothers and sisters is to intentionally seek out and support Black-owned businesses, particularly businesses right here in Evanston.
[Photo: Wendy Weaver, Clarence Weaver, Larry Murphy, Jean Murphy]
Two such business have active GoFundMe campaigns whose goals still need to be met:
-- C & W Market and Ice Cream Parlor, owned by Clarence Weaver and Wendy Weaver, whose GoFundMe can be found here.
-- YoFresh Yogurt Cafe-Evanston, owned by Jean Murphy and Larry Murphy, whose GoFundMe can be found here.
Like so many businesses, C&W and YoFresh were hit hard by the dramatic loss of business caused by the pandemic, and as Clarence says in the interview I did with him a couple of weeks ago (listen to it here), Black people and Black businesses were already coming from behind in this country before the pandemic began.
The Weavers and the Murphys give so much to Evanston--not only through their business, but through their engagement in many community events and activities. Through the pandemic, they have volunteered their time and resources to help provide food and necessities to residents who need them--even as they struggle to keep their businesses afloat.
For a comprehensive list of Evanston's Black businesses, go to The Black Business Consortium of Evanston's directory here.
The Black Business Consortium Evanston North Shore was founded by the Weavers and the Murphys. Unfortunately, what was to be their fourth annual bus tour of Evanston's Black businesses, Le Tour de Noir, in April was canceled due to Covid-19.
I recently interviewed Clarence Weaver about what it means to be a Black business owner, why they opened the store, how he thinks it's contributed to the community, and how Covid-19 has affected his family both personally and professionally. You can listen to that interview here.
Jonah Meadows of Evanston Patch wrote about the Weavers' GoFundMe yesterday. Read that here.
Please support these GoFundMe campaigns, and more important, start making an intentional effort to seek out Black businesses for goods and services.
Check out and "Like" YoFresh's FB page here.
Check out and "Like" C&W's FB page here.