The struggle for social justice in the Black community has been a major story over the last year, and a word that is used often during coverage of that story is "ally."
Being an ally can mean many things including advocating for, and listening to, members of a minority community whose voices have historically been ignored or overlooked.
Another way to be an ally is to support Black-owned businesses.
Eight out of 10 Black-owned businesses fail within their first 18 months of opening, according to a report by NBC News. That same report indicated that the pandemic has exacerbated that concern. Approximately 41% of Black businesses closed during the early stages of the pandemic, compared to approximately 17% of white businesses.
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"When there is a recession for the majority community a lot of times it is a depression for the minority community,” said Devoyd Jennings, President and CEO of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce (FWMBCC).
The Chamber represents around 500 member businesses, which is only a portion of the Black business community in the city.
Jennings said his organization welcomes the support of any ally who is interested in increasing equity in the local business community.
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"At the end of the day, the color of freedom is green. The color of freedom is green,” Jennings said. “And as long as we can create some green opportunities for all that want to be involved we make that difference.”
The website for the FWMBCC includes a comprehensive list of its member Black-owned businesses in the Fort Worth area.