10 fun ways to support Black creators from home during COVID-19 ūüĎćūüŹĺ

Supporting local artists
Photo Credit: Retha Ferguson

The past few weeks have been pretty strange for all of us, to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted our lives and is causing a lot of uncertainty for everyone, including Black-owned businesses. Studies show that only 0.2% of all venture capital funding went to startups founded by Black women in 2016, which illustrates just how hard it can be for Black-owned companies to stay afloat even in the best of times. Since many of us are isolating at home and in desperate need of fun things to do, we decided to create a list of fun activities that can be done from home while supporting Black creators.

1. Use self-care products from Black makers. Maintaining good mental health is crucial, especially in these trying times. Whether you're on the hunt for candles, mindfulness/affirmation journals, colouring books, etc, there are many Black-owned businesses that can help you find your calm.
2. Follow workouts led by Black trainers. Being stuck inside means we've got to find creative ways to exercise. There are lots of awesome videos led by Black trainers and athletes that you can follow to keep up your energy and fitness.
3. Switch to Black feminine care products. With many stores running low on tampons and pads, this is as good a time as any to switch to eco-friendly feminine hygiene products. Not sure where to start? Here's a great Essence article that lists a few fantastic brands.
4. Try a new protective hairstyle. If you've found yourself with more spare time, now is your chance to experiment with tricky hairstyles you haven't tried before. There are so many YouTubers and Instagrammers with detailed tutorials on achieving styles like box braids, cornrows, weaves, and locs.
5. Play games invented by Black designers. Are you tired of playing endless rounds of Monopoly or chess? Switch it up! You might need to do a little digging, but there are lots of games created by Black people, from ancient African games like omweso (also known as mancala or bao) to more contemporary boardgames.
6. Cook a recipe by a Black food blogger. Self-isolation presents a unique opportunity to reconnect with our food, so why not prepare a dish by a Black chef? Depending on the ingredients available to you, this could be a fun chance to try cooking cuisine from Africa or the diaspora too.
7. Read books by Black authors. There are tonnes out there, but our current #1 pick is N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy. This multiple award-winning sci-fi/fantasy series really pushes the envelope when it comes to character development and world-building. The plot is unlike anything we've ever read before, and we're sure you'll get sucked into it like we did!
8. Watch Self Made, a Netflix original starring Octavia Spencer that chronicles the life of Madam C.J. Walker. She was America's first Black millionnaire and built her fortune on hair products formulated specifically for natural hair. Needless to say, she's one of our heroes!
9. Patronize Black businesses. While you might not be able to physically visit their store, you might be able to shop online or buy a gift card to use later. And if you prefer to show your support in other ways, joining their mailing lists and/or following them on social media is always much appreciated.
10. Spread the word! It's so important to keep in touch with loved ones, especially during this time of isolation. Share this post with your friends and family, and let them know about the awesome Black creators you're supporting! 

    What else are you doing to support local businesses through COVID-19? Please share in a comment below!


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