February is considered the one month a year where heritage and awareness surrounding black people becomes front and center for the world to see. The time to emphasize the importance of injustices within the community promotes those who could use the extra eyes on their passion projects. Black-owned businesses have taken a hit during the pandemic, and many want to try and expand to a broader audience.
For those looking for new restaurants, Johnny Ray’s Sultry Soul Food is in Sterling, Virginia, to promote authentic soul food that gives every customer the feeling of a “home-cooked” meal. Open from 11-8 pm, “Johnny Ray works hard to showcase genuine charisma, kindness, and authenticity in his craft,” listed on their website as their opening statement.
For beauty purposes, Mienne Beauty Supply is a black-owned store based in Vienna, Virginia, that promotes ethnic hair care and provides a myriad of products for customers. Mienne considers itself a small, black, women-owned business with glowing reviews promoting its inclusivity.
When looking for a sweet treat after a soulful meal and pretty haircut, Paradise Ice Cream is a severely underrated dessert shop. Not only can you go inside and order as many salted pralines as you want, but the business offers catering both indoors and outdoors.
Black history month is the month for raising awareness, but the true meaning tends to get lost within companies’ opportunities to try and commercialize it. While non-black allies can demonstrate their passion and own thoughts, the focus should still be on black people speaking in both an educational way as well as in an uplifting, spirited way.