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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Black-owned businesses to support in Boston

Black Girl Magic Apparel
Hats sold by Boston lifestyle brand, Black Girl Magic Apparel.

Boston residents are supporting Black-owned businesses to help fight racial injustice as protests and discussions about police brutality – and Black people who have been killed by police, including George Floyd, Elijah McClain, and Breonna Taylor – continue to happen around the country. 

Participating in the Black Lives Matter movement takes place in many forms, and supporting these businesses helps close the racial wealth gap, uplifts local communities and celebrates Black culture.

The next time you want to get take-out, exercise or shop online, think of going to these Black-owned businesses in the Greater Boston area – with some even within walking distance of Suffolk’s campus.

Food & Drink

Larry J’s BBQ Cafe (Revere) 

Looking for an authentic barbecue experience? Head to Larry J’s BBQ located in Revere! Larry J’s offers an extensive menu of wood smoked meats with all the fixings like mac & cheese and baked beans. Catering and private events are also offered. 

Tawakal Halal Cafe (East Boston)

Tawakal Halal Cafe is located off the beaten path in East Boston and specializes in Somali food, including dishes like biryani, chapati and sambusa. Tawakal was also among 50 nominees included in “Bon Appetit’s”  2019 “Hot 10” list of best new restaurants in the country. Stop by Tawakal to try some delicious Somali food!

MIDA (South End)

MIDA, a contemporary eatery located in the South End, serves Italian influenced cuisine filled with flavor and love. Chef Douglass Williams was recently named by “Food & Wine Magazine” as one of the Top 10 best new chefs in America 2020. MIDA is currently open for dine in and take-out. 

Next Step Soul Food Cafe (Dorchester)

Next Step Soul Food Cafe celebrates down-home cooking with a menu ranging from fried chicken and mac & cheese to pork chops smothered in gravy. Next Step is even designated as a community cafe by the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation. Stop on by for hearty dishes and a good meal!

Urban Grape (South End)

There’s no surprise that The Urban Grape in Boston’s historic and vibrant South End was named Boston’s best wine store by “Boston Magazine” in 2019 due to their unique system of organizing wines by their body instead of region. Urban Grape is the first store in the world to offer this system of “Progressive Shelving”. Urban Grape is currently offering free virtual tastings every Thursday and Friday via Zoom. Cheers to Urban Grape for revolutionizing the world of wine!

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen (South End)

Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen offers great Southern comfort food and signature cocktails with a side of live music right in the South End. Visit Darryl’s to have a laid-back evening filled with old-fashioned eats like chicken & waffles and fried catfish strips. 

Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor (Dorchester)

Oasis Vegan Veggie Parlor is a lively restaurant filled with art, music, and the aroma of good food. Oasis VVP has an extensive menu based around stews, vegetables and rice that are all vegan, and even includes delicious smoothies and juice. Come support a local Black-owned vegan restaurant where everyone is treated with respect and kindness. 

Rhythm ‘n Wraps (Allston)

Scroll through Rhythm ’n Wraps Instagram account (@rhythmnwraps) to see a colorful assortment of tasty foods ranging from Trinidadian street corn, flaky gordita and mac & cheese bites. Rhythm ‘n Wraps also offers delivery, catering and a food truck. 

Health & Wellness

TRILLFIT (Mission Hill)

TRILLFIT is a boutique fitness studio located in the heart of Mission Hill that combines a mix of hip-hop and pop music for heart-pumping workouts. TRILLFIT’s goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for communities of color in Boston by providing increased access to their programs through the support of many local organizations and non-profits. 

Afro Flow Yoga (Cambridge)

Afro Flow Yoga is a yoga studio that infuses electrifying dance movements of the African diaspora with gentle meditative yoga while still being a powerful workout. Leslie Salmon Jones and Jeffrey W. Jones founded Afro Flow to promote healing, balance, and peace of humanity through rhythms in a compassionate and judgement-free environment, according to their website. Afro Flow currently offers free virtual classes every Sunday.

4 Corners Yoga + Wellness (Dorchester)

4 Corners Yoga + Wellness in Dorchester provides a community-centered yoga and massage experience that promotes relaxation, vitality and inclusivity. 4 Corners currently offers virtual yoga classes and in-person massages by registration only.


Working Woman (Online)

Working Woman is a Boston Black-owned lifestyle brand that was launched in November 2019 by Kayla Mills. Some of Working Woman’s products include custom tie dye, original tees, sweatshirts, and socks. Mills has so far fulfilled orders from 38 states and even Canada with a rapid influx of sales since the current Black Lives Matter protests.

“It’s been amazing but I would be lying if I said it was not adding stress to my life,” said Mills who originally started offering tie dye on her personal Instagram. “I am one woman and all of a sudden I was flooded with orders and inquiries.”

Mill’s products can be purchased at and viewed on Instagram @imaworkingwoman. 

Working Woman’s “Speak Up” tee that is available to pre-order on their website. (Working Woman)

BGM Apparel (Online)

Black Girl Magic Apparel, an online merchandise shop based in Boston, was founded in October 2015 by Jae’da Turner. BGM sells a wide selection of clothing, custom goods, prints, accessories and more that celebrates the magic that comes with being Black.

“Our core customers are local or personal connections, but we do have a presence across the country,” said Turner. 

Shop BGM at and connect with them on Instagram @bgmapparel. 

Frugal Bookstore (Roxbury)

Frugal Bookstore is Boston’s only Black-owned bookstore. It serves as a community-oriented space for organizations and events that cater to the needs of Black residents. According to a June 24, 2020, article published by NBC News, Frugal Bookstore has received more than 20,000 book orders since the Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd started in late May. 

Black Market (Roxbury)

Black Market, a retail and cultural space located in the heart of Roxbury’s Nubian Square, was founded to uplift local Black vendors and creators and to focus on economic justice, arts and culture in the Black community and civic engagement. 

Kung Fu Video & DVD (Downtown Crossing)

Kung Fu Video & DVD, located a short walk away from Suffolk’s campus, is a niche video store that has a wide range of martial-arts, anime and Asian films for sale. Some of Kung Fu Video’s collection can be found online at

Pure Oasis (Dorchester) 

Pure Oasis is Boston’s first recreational cannabis dispensary which specializes in a user-friendly experience with a knowledgeable staff and a wide variety of high quality cannabis products, as mentioned on their website. Pure Oasis also employs those with prior drug convictions as part of the Cannabis Control Commision’s “economic empowerment” program that grants licenses faster to those shops that benefit communities with disproportionate  arrest rates for drug crimes. 

This article only scratches the surface of Black-owned businesses in Boston, but you can check out this rapidly expanding spreadsheet of local Black-owned businesses created by several local Boston residents.

Additionally, check out @blackownedbos on Instagram to browse their growing directory.

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Sarah Lukowski
Sarah Lukowski, Arts & Culture Editor | she/her
Sarah Lukowski is a senior journalism and public relations major from Middlebury, Connecticut. Sarah joined The Suffolk Journal in fall 2018 as a Staff Writer and is now the Arts & Culture Editor. When she's not typing away at her computer, you can find her proclaiming her love for Taylor Swift, reading the latest young adult novel, or watching classic horror movies. Follow Sarah on Twitter @thesarahdipity Email her at [email protected]
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Black-owned businesses to support in Boston