*Black Lives Matter has partnered with ad agency J. Walter Thompson New York, to help folks find and support local black businesses.
The ad agency has launched a beta version of BackingBlackBusiness.com, a website that allows people to discover black-owned businesses throughout the country. Huff Post notes that “shoppers can search for businesses through categories like food and beverage, health and beauty, entertainment and lifestyle.”
Black Lives Matter wants BackingBlackBusiness.com to become “the biggest and most easily accessible black businesses database in the country,” according to a statement.
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“Black-owned business have long been a staple in the Black community providing jobs, economic security and a somewhere for us to go and feel seen and safe,” said Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. “In these uncertain times, we need these places more than ever.”
Brent Choi, Chief Creative Officer of J. Walter Thompson New York said that through this new innovation, they hope to “reduce the racial disparity that exists in economic well-being through the promotion of black business ownership.”
The site currently has more than 300 businesses listed, and aims to have a diverse selection represented by the end of 2017, including non-profits and online stores.
— JWT New York (@JWTNewYork) December 19, 2016
In related news, Walmart has agreed to stop selling t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts online that read “Bulletproof. Black Lives Matter,” after the national Fraternal Order of Police wrote to the retailer asking it to pull the shirts, per money.cnn.com.
Walmart wasn’t actually selling the clothes in stores, but they were available for purchase on its website via a third-party merchant.
“Like other online retailers, we have a marketplace with millions of items offered by third parties that includes Blue Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter and All Lives Matter merchandise,” said a Walmart spokesman. “After hearing concerns from customers, we are removing the specific item with the ‘bulletproof’ reference.”