LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — In the wake of Black Lives Matter protests across the country, local groups are putting together lists of black-owned businesses as a way for people to actively support local communities of color.
“It doesn’t really sit that well with me, because I’ve been here the whole time,” said Tarsha Joyner, who owns Mrs. Joy’s Absolutely Fabulous Treats.
Joyner said most of her customers are white, likely, she said, due to her location downtown and the difficulty of traveling to her shop with Main Street under reconstruction. She’s surprised it took a national tragedy to draw attention to black-owned businesses.
“I’m just sad that it takes that for people to recognize that, ‘You know what, we should be patronizing you!’ Yeah, you should have been.”
Leslie Davis, who owns a yoga studio, appreciates the attention, but she shares Joyner’s perspective.
“I agree. I think it’s bad that something like this had to happen for people to take notice of more black-owned businesses in Lynchburg.”
However, Davis does recognize the value of seeing out minority-owned businesses.
“I’m a small business owner,” said Davis. “I’m not out to be, make a lot of money. I do a lot for our community.”
She’s hosting a Black Lives Matter yoga class later this month.
“It’s free, but I would like people to donate to a Black Lives Matter cause.”
Joyner says she doesn’t want to be considered a black-owned business. She wants to be considered the best.
“I don’t need you to shop here just cause I’m brown,” she said, “because that’s not enough. If I’m putting out the best, that’s why you should be shopping here. That’s what I want people to take away.”
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