For MLK Day, I have so many thoughts. Growing up, my dad shared stories of what it was like growing up in Smithville, Texas, during the Jim Crow era. He’d talk about segregation and the daily struggles he and other Black Americans faced. Being denied entry, being followed after dark, and fears of church bombings, unlawful arrests, and lynchings. It was a dangerous time to be a black person (especially a black man) in Texas during the 1950s and 60s.
Because of what he experienced in the US and as a drafted soldier in Vietnam, my dad was determined that my brothers and I live a different life. He introduced my brothers and me to every Black business owner he met. He made it a point to support Black-owned businesses and encouraged us to do the same. Meeting these business owners inspired me later to use my photography to promote diverse Black-owned brands.
In this post, I will discuss why businesses need to use their platforms to show love, support, and appreciation for minority-owned enterprises. Our country depends on minorities, and we must showcase their stories as much as possible.
Today it’s more essential than ever to back companies run by minorities. Did you know that only 18.7% of U.S. businesses are owned by minorities, per the Annual Business Survey (ABS)? Minorities are disproportionately affected by barriers to finance and resources. This results in slower rates of growth and achievement. But we can do something about it. We can help level the playing field. One of the ways we can give minority-owned businesses a better chance to succeed is by providing them with financial backing. Don’t get it twisted; this is about more than just helping their bottom line. This is also about making the economy more welcoming to people of all backgrounds.
Food has always been a powerful way to bring people together. It’s a known fact. Thanksgiving Dinner, Easter lunch, and Christmas dinner are all centered around the meal we eat. We can promote unity and love by using visual storytelling to showcase the delicious dishes and stories of minority-owned businesses. We can use our platforms to support these businesses and show them the love they deserve by encouraging others to visit their websites, shop at their stores or simply share their profiles on their social media. As a food photographer, I have the unique opportunity to use my skills and platform to showcase the stories of minority-owned businesses and the people behind them. Through my work, I can help spread their stories and contributions to a wider audience, showing how diverse and rich our community is. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. As a black business owner myself, I know it’s my duty to share and support these businesses with everything I have.
For me, MLK Day is a time to reflect on our progress as a society and the work we still have left to do to achieve equality and justice for all. A reminder of the sacrifices made and the importance of standing up for what’s right. I’m committed to using my skills and platform to promote diversity and inclusion. This includes supporting and showcasing minority-owned businesses and the people behind them. This is not just about business; it’s my personal mission to use my talents to positively impact and create a more inclusive and united community. This is my mission and my promise both to myself and to you, the community.
Join me in using your talents and platforms to promote unity and love on this MLK Day. Whether it’s through food photography or another creative outlet, let’s use our skills to shine a light on minority-owned businesses and the people behind them. Together, we can make a difference and create a more inclusive and united community. Happy MLK Day!