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Black History Month: 50 Artists, Makers & Brands to Support (Always)

by Grace Bonney

Every February we celebrate Black History Month and focus on sharing inspiring artwork, design, and interiors from Black artists and makers. This month we are continuing that tradition, but we’ll also be sharing important personal stories, in-depth essays and larger think pieces written by Black creatives in our community that address some of the issues they face on a daily basis — and how they intersect with the design world and the idea of home as a whole. Black history and the stories and work of Black creatives should never be limited to just a month, so we will of course continue these conversations and celebrating the immensely talented community of Black artists, designers, architects, crafters, bloggers and more as we continue to post this final year. To kick things off this week, I’m sharing 50 talented Black designers, artists and brands to support this month and all months of the year, from ceramicists and print makers to beauty pioneers and fashion. If you’d like to learn more about supporting Black-owned businesses, please check out We Buy Black.com and Black Owned Brooklyn.com for more incredible resources ranging from home goods and books to clothing and jewelry. xo, Grace

*The “Living Black” episode of Trigger Warning with Killer Mike was an eye-opening look at Black-owned business and the importance of supporting not just local economies, but businesses run by Black owners and other POC-run companies. Here’s a preview of the episode.

 

TO WEAR

Image above, clockwise from top left: Gold Mosaic Earrings by Nakimuli $28, Denim duster by Nakimuli $98, Gold Arc Studs by LilyEmme Jewelry $250, Brooklyn Watchmen Hat by purlBknit $78. 

Image above, clockwise from top left: Egyptian Coin Necklace by Omi Woods $198, Maggie Skirt by Demestik $128 (More on Reuben’s work here), Rings by Aquarian Thoughts $28 each. 

Image above, clockwise from top left: Enamel Moon Tarot Pin by Loveis Wise $10, Half Moon Earrings by The Pink Locket $28,  ZOU XOU Mule by ZOU XOU Shoes $265, I Can See The Light Earrings by Lingua Nigra $175, Tina Earrings by Hecho en Harlem $85, Ankara Necktie by Gabe Jade Accessories $42.

 

ARTWORK

Image above, clockwise from top left: Diana Ross Portrait by Monica Ahanonu Design $70, Portrait by Coco Studio $18, Floral Fossils by Ronni Nicole (contact for pricing, custom work available), This Little Light of Mine portrait by Shadrieka $77, Print by Mark Feijão Milligan $75, Illustration by Tabitha Bianca Brown $20, Desert Terrazzo Artwork by Bleu Byrdie $40.

 

BEAUTY + BATH

 

Image above, clockwise from top left: Body Exfoliator by Luv Scrub $18, Beauty Bakerie Eyeshadow Palette $38, The Rose Gold Single-Blade Razor + Creme by Oui Shave $105, Abyssinian Oil Bath Bombs by Nubian Heritage (I use these and LOVE THEM) $14.99, Eye Pigment by Coloured Raine $7, Trio of Face wash and toner by Chloe and Chad $75, Pat McGrath (the QUEEN!) lust lip gloss $28, BLK/OPL Stick Lip $7.

 

Image above, clockwise from top left: All-natural pads (herb-infused) from The Honey Pot $8, Fenty Lipstick $18, Honey Water by Oyin Handmade $3.99, Apple Hibiscus Mask by Pholk $17, Confetti Illuminator by NineThree Beauty $17,  Warrior Palette by Juvia’s Place $20, Pressed Glow Powder by Koy Voca $12. 

 

HOME + OFFICE

 

Image above, clockwise from top left: Whetstone Magazine (support indie print press, please!) $18, Wall Hanging by BLEU BYRDIE $150, Table runner by Bespoke Binny $27, Black Lavender Candle by Goodnight Darling $28, Laundry Detergent by PUR HOME $24.

Image above, clockwise from top left: Pink batik pillow by OSxN $100, Bergamot Candle by Pontie Wax $18, Lampshade by BespokeBinny $48, Basbaas Date Sauce (the best!) $9.99, Oven Mitts by Bespoke Binny $34. 

Image above, clockwise from top left: Vase by Osa $50, Pillow by BespokeBinny $31.09, Wall hanging by BLEU BYRDIE $100, Postcards by Jen Hewett $10, Farmhouse Table $840 by Archer Home Designs.

 

 

 

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Comments

  • Feeling so, so angry/triggered/exasperated by your comment re: Netflix. Many of us in the urban POC community don’t have access to quality health insurance, let alone luxuries such as Hulu, Apple Television, or Netflix. I implore you to ask: what sort of narratives are you telling yourself when it comes to your support of the eternally marginalized? So, so tone deaf to celebrate POC and then suggest something held out of arm’s reach for many of them :(

    • Nadia

      I’m sorry that my reference to a Neftlix show felt tone deaf. I’m not telling myself any narratives about my own support. I don’t claim to be anything other than a person who does their best to use their platform to support a wide range of creative artists/designers/makers. It’s no secret that I did a horrible job of supporting people of color (as well as LGBTQ+ people and disabled people) in the first 6 years of running Design*Sponge. Since then, I’ve been doing my best to learn, listen, and do better. And again, I apologize if my comment about Killer Mike’s show on Netflix felt tone deaf.

      If you’re open to talking (totally ok if not), can I ask your thoughts on referencing POC-lead programs that aren’t available on traditional television platforms? I think it’s important to support shows like Trigger Warning and others that are lead by POC on Netflix and Hulu, but do you feel that mentioning them at all is problematic? Or was it mentioning it in this post that felt like a juxtaposition that was tone deaf? I’d really like to better understand that point so I can do my best not to replicate that error.

      Grace

  • Hello Grace, I would like to preface this comment by saying that I am not trolling. I live in Australia and I am genuinely curious and interested as to how people live in other parts of the world. In Australia, we also have a Black History Month in honour of Australia’s indigenous peoples – the Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. Does the US have a similar day/week in honour of the American Indians? We also give acknowledgement to our indigenous peoples and the land before the commencement of any event, eg, a meeting, seminar, school/university events, sporting events, opening of public buildings (eg hospitals, schools) etc. Does the US give similar acknowledgement to its indigenous peoples?

    • Sel

      Does the US give acknowledgement to this land’s indigenous people or Black people before meetings and events? No, it doesn’t. But it absolutely should (frankly, it should do way more than that). Our country has long tried to wash away or ignore the injustices it has brought upon indigenous people and Black people (and Latinx people, too). It’s a part of our culture and our country I am deeply ashamed of.

      In Nov 1990, the US declared November “Native American Indian Heritage Month”, but it hasn’t been as widely acknowledged (in my experience) as Black History Month. Our country struggles with a deep-rooted and destructive history of racism and xenophobia (even though the settlers that became ‘Americans’ weren’t here first) and you can see that play out every day in small and big ways. We’re seeing all of this be even more heightened during the current administration and it’s been pretty horrible to see the worst parts of our country not only on display but in some places celebrated or used as examples for other countries to feel it’s ok to act that way. It’s not.

      Grace

  • Greetings I am a Career Visual Artist and native on Harlem NY
    I’d like to be considered for part of the celebration regarding Black Artistic Excellence and building my reach to another buying audience
    I have Original Works Fine Art Prints and a Grown Folks Coloring Pack for streessmelt art framable calendars featuring 1 painting from dozens of my art when the yr closes cut the art and frame to keep
    Instagram/fb has more of my work
    @Alesthias_Original_Artworks
    FB Aleathia’s Original Artworks