Black History Month and Downtown Businesses

Isabelle Baumann, Editor

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement this summer, many businesses made statements pledging to be inclusive, educated, and aware in order to hope end the discrimination and inequalities that are still relevant in our society today. For Black History Month, many believe that  is important to revisit these statements in order to hold each other accountable and make sure the movement does become yet another trend, but instead the starting point to a more equal and united country. 

Many downtown businesses released statements over the summer and continue to promote certain causes through social media.  The State Theatre and Bijou said that they stood in solidarity with all who fight to make the world a better place and that the Film Festival was created to highlight the stories of people from all the world. 

“The Traverse City Film Festival was founded to bring the stories and voices from all walks of life to create a better understanding of the world, and to open communities to a broader view of the human experience” The State and Bijou Theatres stated on their Instagram page on June 1, 2020. 

The BLK Market, located in the Warehouse District, addressed the violence in Minneapolis this past summer and also voiced their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“So much needs to be said and done, but right now [we] want to say that we are here as allies and advocates, to do what we can to support anyone fighting for justice and a voice against violence, oppression, or hatred” The cafe said in a statement on their Instagram on June 1, 2020. 

Finally, My Secret Stash, another small business downtown, addressed the need for people to become more educated on the topic as well as racial inequality and oppression. They also highlighted organizations to donate to that support the Black Lives Matter movement. 

“It is a privilege to educate yourself about racism instead of experiencing it. Speak up. Speak out. Put your money where your mouth is. My Secret Stash is donating proceeds from sales to the NAACP legal defense fund. We stand up as an ally for anyone who needs us” The store stated on their Instagram on June 6, 2020. 

These businesses, and many others, have continued to voice their support and have directed many customers to donate to certain organizations and causes that are working to end the violence and oppression once and for all. Many have also shared resources for Black History Month that aim to educate those who may still be unaware or just want to become better informed on the subject.