Business owners showcase goods at first Black History Marketplace

by | Mar 4, 2019 | News

Sydnee Walcott, Life Reporter

Black History Month is the month where Black people are honoured for their work and accomplishments.

Humber College wanted to give local black business owners the opportunity to be honoured.

Humber College held its first annual Black History Month Marketplace at the Lakeshore Campus on Feb. 13 where African and Caribbean culture was celebrated and their cuisine was served.

“I just want to encourage the African and Caribbean diaspora to be proud of where they’re from,” said Yemisi Lawson, who created Afro Crush, a retailer of Afro-centric toys and accessories.

She wants to see Black people be proud of where they come from and express themselves through wearing items that reflect it.

Jewelry and dolls sold at the Afro Crush venue at the Black History Month Marketplace. (Sydnee Walcott)

“This is my first actual venue where I’m selling items,” said Jenelle Reid, the owner of Topaz Couture, a recently launched brand that sells African inspired designs. She said the event was good idea for publicizing her brand. She is grateful for the opportunity as it gives her a chance to see what it’s like to have a venue.

“This event was important for me to be here to explain and expand,” said Shennae Steele, the owner of Divine Beauty.

The company, started three years ago, was created to teach people the importance of taking good care of themselves. The line contains body lotions, bath salts, natural baths salts and lip balms.

Jesca Uwimana, an International Business student, said events like this makes her feel welcome as it showcased items that she was familiar with.

Books featuring black characters were sold at the Feb. 13 inaugural Black History Month Marketplace. (Sydnee Walcott)

The event was organized by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and
Black Academic Success and Engagement (The BASE).

“We’re individuals who actually want to do great things, not only for our generation, but also for the cities that we live,” said Raeshelle Morris, the organizer of the event.

She said celebrating black entrepreneurs was something they always wanted to do.

“This is the first year we’re doing it and we will be doing it again next year,” Morris said.