Black Business Directory Initiative
After the world watched in horror as Minneapolis police officer Mr. Chauvin soberly placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for 7 min 46 seconds, as he called out for his mother, the world grieved. But most importantly, the Black community grieved in a way that no other could understand. Black mothers undoubtingly grieved unbearably for their sons. Angelina Ebegbuzie, Entice Salon owner recognized this and contacted Irene Moore Davis, a known Historian & Artist here in Windsor, Ontario to launch a zoom group where women could have a safe space to be vulnerable, vent and regroup. Before this worldwide awakening that took place in 2020, speaking about racism was met with blank stares, invalidated with overt and covert commentary with assumptions that one was “crying racism again” so we had a community of people suffering in silence and isolation.
After several meetings, the grieving and venting evolved into taking action! Several initiatives and many other organizations around Windsor Essex developed out of these humble and pivotal small beginnings. This group formed a non-profit of professional and powerful Black women called Black Woman of Forward Action.
There was a need to actively work towards unequivocal progress and the support of our local Black businesses was named as one of the key components of that. This is how Black Business Ontario was launched! With the help of Maxine Shelton, Irene Moore Davis, Shantelle Browning-Morgan compiling artists and various businesses, as well as assistance from Honourable Irek Kusmierczyk it is scheduled to launch in 2021.
Maxine Shelton decided to spearhead this initiative but saw so much more that can be done to truly support the Black entrepreneurship journey. The mission is to bring the Black businesses in Ontario together on one platform to build, uplift, network, educate and organize around politics and economics. BBO believes that in order to gain power here, we must come together and patronize our own businesses, collaborate with allied businesses, creating a Black Entrepreneurship Ecosystem that will close the gaps that have been a hindrance to the success of Black business.