The town of New Haven, Connecticut, is highlighting its Black businesses, artists, and entertainers in its inaugural Black Wall Street Festival.
About30 new Black businesses have emerged in New Haven, selling books, clothing, cosmetics, skincare, jewelry, food, drinks and more. The event is an effort to showcase them as well as Black artists and entertainers in the city.
Fox 61 reports the first Black Wall Street Festival will take place on Aug. 27, from noon to 6 p.m. at Temple Plaza. Adriane Jefferson, the New Haven director of Arts, Culture and Tourism, said the event is a way to amplify New Haven’s Black and Brown business owners and artists.
“So many of our residents who have been unseen, unheard, and feel like they haven’t had the platform to thrive…are now they are going to be able to show their talents, skills and build back economic wealth,” Jefferson told Fox.
Black-owned businesses fell by 40% during the initial days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, hundreds of Black men and women used the pandemic to start their own businesses, leading to a 30% increase in Black businesses from before the pandemic.
Jefferson added the festival is also a way to honor and recognize the history of Black Wall Streets across the U.S., including the Black Wall Street based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, destroyed n the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.
New Haven’s Black business owners, city leaders, and partners say the Black Wall Street Festival will greatly impact the city’s younger Black and Latino residents.
“It’s very important that the future children have representation of themselves and where they could be and what they can do by being in this community itself, so that’s our goal to get back to our younger version of us and to show them what they can one day be in our position,” said Lip Lock L.L.C. owner Athena Murph.