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Image courtesy of Riveriswild

#BuyBlack: The 8 Black-Owned Brands To Shop For On Black Friday 2019

It's that time of year again, here is OkayAfrica's 2019 gift guide for you to #BuyBlack this Friday.

You know we're near the end of 2019 once the holiday season comes back around. Thanksgiving is upon us and the bargain shopping and gift-giving is set to commence thereafter. While this American "holiday" being questionable in of itself, Black Friday is a prime occasion to highlight, support and spend exclusively with black-owned businesses.

Just like we mentioned last year, let's keep the 'for us, by us' energy going. Even beyond the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, tap into the businesses that continue to contribute to wealth-building, development and employment in Black communities around the world.

Here is OkayAfrica's curated shortlist of black-owned brands to take note of this Black Friday, including some standout home decor, fashion, skincare and beauty brands you should know.

Take a look below.


ITADI BODY

Itadi Body is a new natural skincare brand launched by Togolese artist and businessman Tabi Bonney. The inaugural line consists of a face wash, toner and moisturizer made out of ingredients sourced from Bonney's family-owned farms in Togo, including the coffee berry—known for its antioxidants and skin protecting properties. Whether you're a product minimalist or newbie needing a starting point with skincare, Itadi Body can be the go-to line to leave your skin feeling soft and smooth.

Riveriswild

Riveriswild is the lifestyle brand tapping into African nostalgia through their eclectic designs. "The name of our brand symbolizes the chaotic fluidity of life," Akinwale Akinbiyi, Riveriswild's creative director, told OkayAfrica in 2017. Their latest collection, Garba, is dedicated to the man Akinyibi bought sweets from during his formative years in Lagos. A standout from this line is the Bloom Hat, featuring two groovy flowers made out of the Riveriswild logo.

Spicegrove Roselle

This is the perfect holiday gift for the sorrel/zobo/bissap lovers in your life. Audrey Powell has bottled up her take on sorrel with Spicegrove Roselle+Ginger hibiscus drink. Named after her family farm that Powell spent her formative years in Jamaica, Spicegrove is the healthy and accessible approach on what she witnessed her mother make during the holidays growing up. What you taste is what you get—a delicious, spice-filled blend of dried hibiscus roselle petals, raw ginger, allspice, cinnamon, lime peel and raw cane sugar.

Ditto Africa

Ditto Africa is an emerging, centralized mobile marketplace where one can shop a curated array of fashion brands from Africa and the diaspora. The platform features designers including Nigeria's Orange Culture, Haiti's Petit Kouraj, Egypt's Okhtein and more. Be sure to take a closer look at Ditto Africa's jewelry selection—they're to die for.

54kibo

Nana Quagraine founded 54kibo to make contemporary African interior design more visible, accessible and authentic. "After the birth of our twins, my husband and I hosted a Ghanaian Naming Ceremony in Brooklyn, New York; a day filled with love and the beauty of my culture," she says on 54kibo's website. "This day inspired me, and created a sense of urgency to build 54kibo, to share the beauty of the African diaspora with my children and the world." The online platform features stunning home decor items, furniture, home decor for kids, as well as rugs and carpets.

Vitae London

Vitae London, founded by William Adoasi, has been the brand that makes beautiful watches affordable and stylish. Based in London, it consistently produces high-quality genuine leather band or stainless steel band watches, that are built with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Vitae London is all about giving back as well. Proceeds from each watch sold contributes to the lives of schoolchildren on the continent via new school uniforms and a solar light that helps them study safely at night.

UOMA Beauty

UOMA Beauty is the latest African-owned makeup brand to watch. Founded by Nigeria's own Sharon Shuter, a former beauty executive, UOMA looks to shake up the rules of inclusivity and diversity in the beauty industry. The brands range includes eyeshadow palettes, eyeliner, brow pencils and gels, vibrant lipsticks and glosses, as well as foundation and concealers formulated especially for women of color.

BONUS: OkayAfrica Shop

If you're looking for fun accessories, records, and graphic tees that represent for the culture, look no further than our very own OkayAfrica shop. The shop is stocked up with best-sellers like the Toussaint L'ouverture tee, the popular Africa Prism t-shirt, our new collection for Jidenna's '85 to Africa' tour, OkayPlayer's The Roots-inspired Illadelph jersey and plenty more for all your streetwear needs.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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