Black-Owned Media Is Black Business Too

Black Owned Media
Source: [Image above is a photo from a 2017 panel event titled We The Media focused on Black founders of media companies. Pictured here: Moderator, Gia Peppers, Founder Her Agenda Rhonesha Byng, Founder Bleu Life Media Devon Johnson, Cofounder Blavity Jonathan Jackson, Cofounder CRWN Magazine Lindey Day.]

Jul. 14 2020, Published 9:17 a.m. ET

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As movements grow to focus on supporting Black-owned businesses, there’s one type of Black business that is falling by the wayside. 

Campaigns like Beyonce’s Black Parade directory and ‘My Black Receipt’ with directives to mobilize consumers to buy Black are important and impactful. With a goal of getting the public to spend at least $5M on Black-owned businesses, My Black Receipt reportedly managed to promote over half a million dollars in sales. But what’s blatantly left out of these campaigns? Black-owned media companies. 

If you want to truly shift the narrative: support Black-owned media.

Black Owned Media

There is an immediate opportunity before us. 

Brands like Unilever, Diageo, Verizon, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, The North Face, Target, Starbucks and others have pulled what’s left of 2020 advertising dollars from Facebook and other social media platforms. They’re calling it #StopHateforProfit. This is a response to outcries from civil rights groups and consumers calling out divisive and racist content that exists unchecked on the Facebook platform. Billions of dollars already earmarked to spend on marketing efforts are now left in limbo. 

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But, they don’t have to be. If the goal is a more inclusive and diverse representation of what America looks like, then an obvious solution has been waiting for 193 years. Black-owned media has been at the forefront of telling diverse stories and holding the promise of America up to a mirror.

Here are a few of the companies:

  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Dashlane
  • Eddie Bauer
  • Hershey
  • Honda
  • JanSport
  • KIND
  • Levi Strauss & Co.
  • Madewell
  • Magnolia Pictures
  • Mozilla
  • The North Face
  • Patagonia
  • Patreon
  • SAP
  • Upwork
  • Verizon

The full list can be found here.

Our goal is to have these companies redirect their ad dollars to Black-owned media. And also spotlight these companies in the eyes of the public to foster consumer-based support. 

Devon Johnson and I are both founders of media platforms. We are coming together to unify other Black-owned media platforms to hold these advertisers accountable. Under the umbrella of the newly formed Black Owned Media Sustainability Institute, we’re curating a public database of Black-owned media companies across the country. If these advertisers are seeking a more just platform for their dollars, they need look no further than here.

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To view database in full, visit this link. There is also a form available to submit companies that should be included.

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By: Rhonesha Byng

Rhonesha Byng is the founder and CEO of Her Agenda— a digital media platform bridging the gap between ambition and achievement for millennial women. The site provides access to content and community that gives millennial women access to information and inspiration to help them get started or to move to the next level of their career. Rhonesha is an Emmy award-winning journalist and entrepreneur whose philosophy in life is established by her acronym of N.E.S.H.A. No one Ever Slows Her Agenda. This motto served as the inspiration for Her Agenda. Rhonesha was named to the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and ESSENCE magazine named her among 50 Founders To Watch. Rhonesha is also the co-founder of the newly formed nonprofit org The Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute (BOMESI).

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