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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Black Holiday Gift Guide

Last update: 12/11 at 5:23 p.m.

With the winter holidays fast approaching, I wanted to give you guys some options for supporting Black owned businesses this holiday season. I know that part of the hassle in buying Black stems from inconvenience. In fact, as we've learned from Maggie and John Anderson "buy Black" experiment this year, buying Black exclusively can be a time consuming, costly, frustrating labor of pride. Since the goal of Social Angst is to promote easy social activism, I'm am not going to suggest that you restrict all your holiday spending to Black vendors. Instead, I'm going to make two suggestions:
  1. Spread The Wealth. While it may be unrealistic to "buy Black" for ALL of your holiday purchases, I'm sure that some of your purchases can be made at Black owned retailers. Make a pledge to spend $100 on Black vendors/products this season and support the Black economy.
  2. Choose Mainstream Retailers That Support Your Community. The NAACP does an in depth Consumer Report Card on some of the largest retailers in America. The report identifies what companies routinely hire diversely, use diverse vendors, and seek diversity in their philanthropic endeavors.
To aid you in your commitment to "buying Black," please find below a few options on how to spend that holiday money.

Bath, Body, and in Between. Lisa Price is (her mother) Carol's daughter. She is also the founder and owner of the Carol's Daughter beauty line which is named for her mom. While working on the set of The Cosby Show in the 80s, Lisa began making organic beauty products in her kitchen which quickly developed into a mail order/online business. In 1999 she opened her flagship store in Brooklyn and a sequel shop in Harlem in 2005. Her line has been featured on The Oprah Show and the Tyra Banks show and is currently promoted by Carol's Daughter spokeswomen Mary J. Blige and Dominique Reighard.

Arts, Culture and Entertainment.

Broadway Tickets

David Allen Grier and Kerry Washington are starring in David Mamet's newest Broadway play Race at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. I've read good things about the show. Tickets range between $59.50 and $251.50 and can be purchased at or at telecharge.

One of a Kind/Handmade. is the cyber heaven for quirky handmade items. You can find ornaments, art, jewelery, home decor items and much more. Though the site doesn't cater specifically to Black consumers, they do have a nifty filter option that helps you find Afrocentric pieces and African American vendors.

I've got to shout out Sabrina Thompson, founder and owner of BeanPye Jewelery. Check out her site for fierce, fabulous, and fun accessories!

Another entrepreneurial minded friend of mine, Khalilah Raheem, has just begun bottling and selling her fantastic homemade Sangria. Kiki's Sangria is delicious. I have had it on several occasions and IT has had me on my backside several times as well!! The sangria contains fresh fruit, wine, and rum and can be purchased in 16 oz bottles for $8 and half gallon bottles for $25. You can make inquiries and orders by emailing "Kiki" at

Home & Garden. is an online candle shop. Nikki, founder and owner of Nikki Makes Scents, has run the budding online company since 1998. Candle lovers can expect the royal treatment as they choose from 600 unique candle scents. has a variety of Black inspired gifts including holiday ornaments and decorations, figurines, stationery, mantle piece ornaments and much more. also has a unique catalog of Black inspired gifts ranging from magnets, bibles, and holiday items.

**Newly Added**
**From the New York Times 2009 Of Color Stylish Gift Guide ** Kimberly Seals-Allers, author of the beloved Mocha Series Books, has teamed up with Pamela M. McBride to author The Mocha Manual to Military Life: A Savvy Guide for Wives, Girlfriends and Female Service Members. Bargain Hunter Hint: It's on sale now for $10.79 while supplies last.

**From the New York Times 2009 Of Color Stylish Gift Guide ** Iman is one of the most successful Black models ever to hit the fashion industry. Though she is retired from the catwalk, she hasn't stopped wanting to make women of color fabulous. Her book, The Beauty of Color: The Ultimate Beauty Guide of Skin of Color, which has been in print since 2005, is a great gift for any lady in your life (I should know, I have it!). Though do keep in mind that hardcovers make better gifts!

While the mainstream media may view beauty in very confined terms, we know that beauty - especially Black beauty - comes in all shades, ages and forms. Black Beauty: A History and a Celebration is another literary oldie but goody that makes a great gift. Whether you want to give it as a coffee table centerpiece or as an inspiration to some of the young women in your life, this book gives the gift of positive self image. Bargain Hunter Hint: Amazon teams the paperback edition of Black Beauty: A History and a Celebration with the hardcover Nudes by Marc Baptiste for $56.74!

Magazine Subscriptions.

Help keep our issues in print by gifting those you love with subscriptions to African American magazines.

Black Enterprise
Black Issue Book Review
Footsteps ( Love this one for the kiddies!)
Heart & Soul
The Network Journal
Today's Black Woman
(Find more obscure subscriptions here

For the Kids.

Give a book and give the gift of literacy.
Looking for a diverse selection of children's books? Check out and As they say, a book is a gift that you can open more than once!

Children's author Kelly Starling Lyons has made her collection available for online purchase. Visit to view her catalog.

**Newly Added**
**From the New York Times 2009 Of Color Stylish Gift Guide **
Nikki Grimes has written a children's book about President Barack Obama entitled Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope. Grab it for $16.99 at Amazon

Toys of Diversity
**Newly Added**
As some of you may know, I'm a HUGE Solange Knowles fan, so of course I wanted to promote her Baby Jamz toy line here. Unfortunately, I hit a brick wall as I found the official Baby Jamz website expired. I did find out that Walmart is carrying the line, however since Walmart got mixed reviews on their NAACP report card, I originally opted to leave it out. Since then, Nic has argued that the fact that Walmart is carrying the line should qualify a there you go.

Originally I opted out of adding Baby Jamz to this post for fear that the line had silently failed. However, after some discussion with Nic, I've decided to sneak it in.

African American bingo marries the popular kids game with Black history.

Proserity - An African American Board Game is a game that teaches cooperative economics. Similar to Monopoly, the game features a variety of real life experiences tat help foster a child's understanding of business and fiscal responsibility.


Nic's Pick.

Cookie Johnson (Magic's wife) has teamed up with 7 For All Mankind and Citizen of Humanity founder Michael Glasser to create the CJ Jeans denim line that is cut for melanin proficient. Now these jeans are not cheap - in fact, the cheapest pair I found was at Nordstroms for $141, but apparently they are worth it. Oprah featured Cookie's CJ Jeans on her coveted Favorite Things episode earlier this year.

E.P.'s Pick *Just Added*
Brooklyn based clothing line Cut It Out! Apparel features fashions with sassy statement for sistas. Tirinda McNeill has created a line of tees with style, flavor and principle. I love that the site features real women. View the line and cop a tee at has a variety of urban inspired t-shirts. I'm especially fond of the I'm Taking Hip Hop Back design!

Black Girls Rock Inc has opened a new online store where they sell their slogan laced t-shirts. The ultra chic urban wear is a statement of both fashion and activism. You'll look as fabulous as you feel when you support their youth empowerment programs with a purchase!

The unisex clothing line at is also in the business of making positive social statements fashionable. Their t-shirt lines are as thought provoking as they are asthetically pleasing.

Mataano is a clothing line designed by twin sisters Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim. The Somali to DC transplants launched the line of ten dresses in November 2009 and have been featured on Oprah and in the New York Times 2009 Of Color Stylish Gift Guide.

Looking for more Afrocentric gift ideas? has a substantial list of vendors. You can also pick up The Color of Christmas African American Holiday Shopping Guide for free. While the guide is several years old, many of their suggestions are still relevant.

Hope you find this guide helpful! While I don't normally request recognition, I'd like to get this guide out to as many people as possible. If you find it worthy, please tweet and dig it (see below for buttons). We're always looking to add vendors, so drop us a comment or email us at to let us know who your favorite Black vendors and business are!
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