BAFA Buy Black Bazaar Affords Alternative to Traditional Black Friday
This year’s Black Friday saw many shoppers return to stores in person, but the social-justice group Black Allies for Our Advancement hosted an alternative event in Los Angeles’ Leimert Park neighborhood on November. 26 to encourage patronage of Black-owned businesses.
The event hosted California vendors who were organized on Degnan Boulevard with businesses such as Dekonchko Mullings’s Love Smells Good beauty and wellness goods, African beads by Zahra Import, and Wolofwear, which is West African clothing with a modern twist presented by Buna Diagne.
Originally from Senegal, Diagne’s wife, who is formerly of South Central Los Angeles, moved to the West African country where she now designs Wolofwear clothing and enlists the skill of local artists and tailors to manufacture pieces. Featuring African wax fabric, the pieces are colorful with silhouettes in dresses, jumpsuits, and skirts.
By selling the goods during the Leimert Park African market on Sundays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and taking advantage of events such as BAFA’s Buy Black Bazaar, Diagne hopes to support the local community and the artists back in Senegal.
“We have people working for us. Our tailor was able to move his family into a better house in a better neighborhood,” Diagne said. “We are supporting at least 10 people back home. We are making sure we are supporting people back home in the motherland and we are making sure we are giving African Americans a way to express themselves through clothing.”
In addition to the vendors who were selling through temporary spaces, the permanent shops that lined the street such as Eso Won Books, Neighbors Skate Shop, and Sole Folks also welcomed the message that was being spread by the Buy Black Bazaar.
At Sole Folks, a cooperative that sells goods such as clothing, wellness items, and home pieces affords a place for Black creatives to cultivate their businesses and grow their entrepreneurial mindsets. In addition to the retail services, the location houses Kicks B Clean a sneaker, hat, and bag restoration business, a design lab where members of the cooperative create their work, and an art space across the street, which includes sewing classes.
“Because the area, Leimert Park is a very sacred and special place for the community, it really is called a ‘village,'” said Himyo Green, program director of Sole Folks and founder of the brand Humans Expressing Compassionate Action, which is also known as HECA.
“To be able to have a space and a place to amplify the wonderful cohesion and welcoming ness that we create in this village is paramount to be able to allow us to exist in a happy space and create environments that are welcoming inviting and uplifting.”
Content courtesy of Apparel In News