You might have heard of Onikah Asamoa-Caesar recently. At least, you've definitely heard of her business, Fulton Street Books & Coffee, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During the Black Lives Matter protests in June, Fulton Street made news when they launched a 1- to 3-month "Ally Box" subscription of antiracist literature –– and it sold out in a matter of days.
In the wider book industry –– as in many industries –– Black people and people of color continue to be underrepresented, from the stories (and authors) chosen for publication to assumptions around readership, marketing efforts, and how books are organized in stores. Onikah intends to change that. Fulton Street, a mashup of local coffee shop and independent bookstore, is one of the rare booksellers in the U.S. that specializes primarily in books by and about people of color, with 70% or more of the titles Fulton sells "written by or featuring POC and/or marginalized communities."
Supporting the stories, work, and communities of people of color –– now and in the future –– is a crucial part of allyship and building a more inclusive American culture. For Onikah, the Ally Box is a first step in that direction, with more initiatives to support Black businesses and POC voices planned in the future.
In the spirit of inclusion, education, and better representation, Onikah partnered with us to spotlight ten of the Black-owned businesses (of all kinds) available on the Marketplace. Read below to learn more and support Black entrepreneurs!
Check out our full collection of Black-owned subscription boxes on Cratejoy.
3rd-5th Grade Level Box (Updated)
About the Box: It's well-known that STEM industries have a gender gap problem. Black Girl MATHgic is here to shrink that –– and increase math confidence –– with a totally one-of-a-kind box for girls in third through eighth grade. Each box comes with a creative, thoughtful screen-free activity, lesson, and learning tools for your child to practice that month’s featured math skills outside of the classroom. What’s more, she’ll receive a profile of a different female mathematician every month to boost her confidence –– and you’ll receive a “Caring Adult Guide” to help you help her as she learns.
Shipping: Ships within the U.S. between the 8th-13th of the month
Penspiration by Cloth & Paper
About the Box: Get organized this fall with this Black-owned stationery and planner supplies subscription! Customer favorite CLOTH & PAPER sends themed, custom-fit planner inserts, minimalist stationery & desk supplies, and a variety of fun, fancy pens each and every month, so you can stay on top of everything from meal planning and household cleaning to professional projects and your holistic five-year plan.
Shipping: Ships worldwide (except for China and the UAE) from the U.S. between the 19th-24th of the month
About the Box: Calling makeup junkies! NME Box is a totally unique cosmetics box, specializing in special-effects makeup so subscribers can design new looks every month. This Black-owned business curates each box to focus on a specific character, or “look” –– from “Steam Punk” to “Living Statue” and “It’s Alive.” You’ll receive 5+ full-size beauty products, costume accessories (like wigs!), face paints, beauty tools, and creative prompts in each box to spark inspiration and build your portfolio, whether you’re looking to get into SFX, cosplay at the nearest con, or just do it up for your next costume party.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. within 3 weeks of order
The BlackLIT Box
About the Box: Whether you’re looking for fiction, nonfiction, Christian reads, children’s books, or books for men, BlackLIT has it all. Featuring authors and entrepreneurs of color every month, each box includes one brand-new book, thoughtful reading questions to foster conversation, and 3-5 high-quality products from Black-owned businesses, ranging from apparel to beauty, lifestyle accessories, kids’ toys, and more.
Shipping: Ships worldwide from the U.S. by the 5th of the month
Home Made Luxe
About the Box: This crafty box sends you creative, Pinterest-worthy home decor projects every month. Each project comes with detailed instructions, all the materials you need to make your home shine, and even an exclusive video to follow along as you DIY! Plus, you’ll receive small bonus crafts and a fun recipe.
Shipping: Ships within the U.S. and Canada