Today is Black Friday, so it’s time to start plottin’ and plannin’ those holiday gift lists for your loved ones. But instead of trying to catch those big deals at your favorite superstore, how about keeping those dollars in the hands of black businesses and entrepreneurs?
This list includes everything from African-inspired apparel and decor to award-winning books by black authors to products that promote black excellence and solidarity. No matter who’s on your list this year, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift among these 50 black-owned businesses. Let’s shop!
While you’re buying some vegan-friendly nail polish for your homegirl, why not pick out a few tubes of lipstick, too? Pnk Digger uses only vegan products to create its bright lipsticks, which are sure to make any pucker pop. The company, which operates in Atlanta, named its colors after street names and neighborhoods in the city. Bankhead Shawty and Buckhead Betty are surefire winners.
Here’s another company — started by two black women — that is also making lives better on the continent. Bené Scarves are made of 100 percent silk, and at their price point, they would be a great gift for your favorite aunt or cousin who is always stylish with a bit of sophistication.
The names of these wines are definitely a conversation starter. “Other People’s Pinot Gris,” “Love Drunk” and “Bottoms Up” all sound like the perfect wines to get the party started. Mouton Noir Wines fills its bottles with wine from Oregon’s wine country.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 700 incidents of harassment since the election. One way to fight against these acts of violence is to donate to the groups that aim to advocate on behalf of those victims. Start with the SPLC and the American Civil Liberties Union.
Fitness trainer Lita Lewis has created four online training programs to help blast that fat away. The “total body blast” program is the perfect gift for that friend or relative who has needed that extra nudge to get started on a workout plan.
Roxane Gay is at the helm of this spinoff from Black Panther. In the World of Wakanda, comic fans will meet Ayo and Aneka, two bodyguards of the Dora Milaje who have fallen in love.
John Lewis’ acceptance speech at the National Book Awards for March: Book Three this year is so powerful that you’ll want to buy this as a stocking stuffer for many of your loved ones. "I remember, in 1956 when I was 16 years old, some of my brothers and sisters and cousins going down to the public library trying to get library cards. And we were told that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds," Lewis said. "To come here and receive this award, this honor, it's too much."
These pillow covers come with a powerful message. With quotes from Audre Lorde, Miriam Makeba and Nina Simone, these cushions from Don’t Sleep Interiors give a dose of consciousness with maximum comfort.
Celebrate black excellence with apparel and accessories from Omnidoke. These Malcolm X pin packs would make for a great stocking stuffer, as would wooden “one love” bracelets, both inexpensive options to add to your list.
Atlanta-based trainer Chelcie Scott is all about a 30-day workout plan. What’s great about these workout series is that she has designed them to be done either in the gym or at home. The packages include workouts (and YouTube videos to teach you the exercises) as well as a meal plan. It's an inexpensive option to help someone get in shape in the new year!
Handmade candles from Candlessentials are eco-friendly and a great gift for that friend who is super compassionate about the environment. The candles are made from soy—and even the packaging is plantable. The All the Love gift set includes six of the company’s signature scents.
For your activist friend, pick up something from Blachaz3’s store on Etsy. There are tote bags, T-shirts and sweatshirts with a perfect catchphrase: “Fists Up Afros Out.”
Table linens from Reflektion Design will brighten up any dinner party. For the friend who’s always inviting you over for dinner, these wax-print napkins could make for a fancy upgrade for a special occasion.
Addy Walker finally has a black American Girl sister with Melody, a 9-year-old black girl fashioned in 1960s Detroit. Buy this for your daughter, niece, cousin or little sister.
For the man in your life, whether it’s your dad or your husband or your bae, this aftershave from Natty Naturals looks like a good bet. It soothes, repairs and minimizes pores—and also smells “freaking amazing,” according to Natty Naturals' website. Browse the site for other natural products for men and women.
Everyone knows a Prince super fan. Buy him or her tickets to tour Paisley Park between now and March 2017. Of course, it's up to you whether you’re willing to pay up for the tickets to Minnesota, but this tour is for sure a once-in-a-lifetime experience your friend or family member will never forget.
The Bevel shaving system has become necessary to the grooming process for men with coarse, curly hair. Designed to reduce razor bumps and ingrown hairs, Bevel’s products promise smoother skin within four weeks.
Mychal Denzel Smith released his debut book this summer to much fanfare. Smith unpacks what it means to be a black man in America today, as society often denies black people’s humanity. The New York Times best-seller would make a great addition to any bookshelf.
Artist Kashmir Thompson has gained popularity in the last year—we’ve seen Tisha Campbell-Martin, Karrueche and, most recently, Issa Rae rock her apparel and accessories. For the ’90s fan in your life, head to her site for shirts and home goods that call up A Different World, Friday and Martin. And if you’re buying a gift for a big Beyoncé fan, she’s definitely got you covered with a clutch, T-shirt or tote bag.
Llulo is an African-inspired collective that sells apparel, home goods and accessories. For your Afrocentric friend, cop a sweatshirt with the continent splashed on the front or an African-shaped pillow.
Michael Mack founded Michael Grey Footwear to create “distinct looks in footwear that will represent you as the individual that you are.” His products are crafted in Brooklyn, N.Y., and men and women can find that perfect shoe among a few select styles.
Maybe you and your family have had some casual conversations about moving to Canada now that Donald Trump has been elected. But why not learn your ancestry, if you haven’t already? It could be the spark you need to plan some travel abroad — to Africa, the Caribbean or wherever your ancestry leads you.(The AfricanDNA test was launched by The Root Chairman Henry Louis Gates Jr.)
Trying to find a gift for a baby or a new parent? Head to LiliNash, a custom baby apparel and furniture store. Just look at this lil baby onesie with its nod to Beyoncé’s “Formation.”
Head to the Volta, a curated digital store that features accessories and home goods made by artists from the African Diaspora. Named after a river in Ghana, the site launched in October with its home base in Brooklyn, N.Y. Go here for funky earrings and necklaces as well as sweet-smelling candles.
Eva Sonaike is on a mission to “bring color to life” with her lifestyle brand, which uses African prints to brighten up your home. Peep the pouffes, rugs, lampshades and fabrics that could spice up a friend or family member’s apartment or home.
If you need to buy several gifts for some girlfriends, try out Vinti Couture. The website boasts several bold ear pieces that’ll have everybody turning their heads. And you can make a very powerful statement, too.
Surprise that fly fashionista you’re always asking, “Where’d you get that?” with a funky, African-inspired dress from Zuvaa, a marketplace for African design. There are plenty of gifts under $50, and many that would make the perfect stocking stuffer.
Philadelphia Print Works is the perfect place to find a gift for the college student in your life. There are collegiate T-shirts, inspired by your favorite activists and writers, including Ida B. Wells, Audre Lorde and Harriet Tubman.
This online shop was inspired by the 2013 book Black Girls Are From the Future—and features a handful of branded products, including mugs, tote bags and bumper stickers. Another stocking stuffer treasure trove!
This gift is at a price point surely certified for bae or someone super special to you. But if you purchase eyeglasses from Bohten, which are made from materials sourced in Ghana, you’ll also be benefiting a global charity that works to prevent blindness and restore eyesight.
Know someone who always loves to keep a candle burning? Try the 125 Collection, which not only sells sweet, spicy and spirit-themed candles but also boasts a cheeky message with them. For the go-getter, maybe Wake Up, Kick Ass, Be Kind and Repeat is in order. Or perhaps someone needs just a lil sprinkle of Black Girl Magic.
Rayo and Honey sells “goods with positive intent.” The handcrafted pennants are often custom-made, and some are offered in a limited run like this one, which calls up a line from Shirley Chisholm, “Unbought and unbossed.”
The founders of Human Utility believe water is a human right. So in 2014, they set up a website for people to help Detroit residents pay their water bills. Now, two years later, the site also helps families in Baltimore, too. You can help someone in need by donating at least $5.
Know someone who aspires to be like first lady Michelle Obama? Why not give her a fragrance that was inspired by her? Seth Kornegay concocts the finest fragrances with the purest ingredients and assures that his products will “exceed the expectations” of all his customers.
Enbois by Maxim is another business that’s paying it forward. Enbois, which handcrafts wood products, has partnered with the Haiti Tree Project to plant five trees in Haiti per every purchase. Check out this bamboo timepiece and this solid-wood iPhone case.
Co-owners Ginger and Liz started their nail-polish company in 2009 while talking about what they thought was missing in their favorite lines of polish. Then, in 2010, Ginger + Liz, a vegan-friendly, toxin-free line of bright polishes, was born. Like other big brands, these colors have the best names, like “Gimme Some Suga,” “High Maintenance” and “Blowin’ Money Fast.”
Wesley Lowery, a Washington Post journalist who rose to national prominence during the Ferguson, Mo., protests, released his book, ‘They Can’t Kill Us All’: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement in November. The book chronicles the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Alton Sterling and others killed by police officers or vigilantes.
As it gets colder, perhaps one of the most important things to protect is your hair. With the Slap, women can keep their head warm—and make sure their hair doesn’t dry out because of cotton hats. The caps are lined with satin to maintain your do's moisture.
This is strictly for that friend who’s into astrology and the universe’s effect on our past, present and future. Danielle Ayoka has been snatching wigs on Twitter, telling folks about their personalities by unpacking character traits of their astrological sign. You could sign up a friend for her personal services.
Have a friend who’s a Netflix junkie but who also wishes there were more black TV shows and films on there? Have no fear. Black&Sexy TV houses several black web series, including Sexless and Hello Cupid. The subscription is only $6.99 a month. Black&Sexy and chill sounds like a good gift for a long-term partner.
This is an easy one. Buy a bunch of books from Hue-Man Bookstore’s online shop and then send them off to your friends. There may not be many brick-and-mortar black-owned bookstores left, but shopping online here is definitely the next-best thing.
Black Card Revoked is perfect for that friend or cousin who always likes to host a party or dinner but never has the right entertainment. Great food, but no fun. This game, which is a lot like the black version of Cards Against Humanity, really gets a party going—especially if drinks are involved.
For the Martin fan in your life, order up this fun game that’ll for sure have you reminiscing about the ’90s. Republic and Co. has created several other trivia games, too, but be sure to check frequently, because the games sell out very quickly.
Fill someone’s home with the luxurious smells of the Harlem Renaissance by buying candles from the Harlem Candle Co. With scents named “Josephine,” “Sugar Hill,” “Ellington” and “Savoy,” these candles are sure to add a lil’ uptown funk to any living room.
Marcus Kwame is a Jamaican illustrator who often incorporates social commentary into his art. His prints include illustrations of Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Bob Marley. The posters would make a great gift for a college student.
For the naturalistas in your life, why not buy a few hair products from a black-owned retailer? More than a dozen natural hair-care brands are available under one roof at Textures Natural Hair Care. So skip your local Asian-owned beauty supply store and head here to support a black entrepreneur.
Amira Rahim is an abstract artist who paints bright works of art on canvas and paper. If the price point for those are too high, Rahim also makes phone cases, calendars and pillows, which would make a great gift for a teenager in your life.