Don't Believe The Hype: We do support Black businesses via social media.
The recent social media showdown between Popeye's Chick and Chick-fil-A over the launch of Popeye's Chicken sandwich two weeks ago put the power of "Black Twitter" in the spotlight as it is estimated that Popeye's earned over $24 million in free advertising as posts and meme's regarding the sandwich propagated across social media.
When the news of Popeye's windfall of free advertising was tabulated many in our community immediately questioned why Black people can support Popeye's and make their business go viral but not support local Black owned businesses in their own neighborhood.
The common narrative surfaced, "we are willing to support everyone else's business but Black folks". Well that is not necessarily the case at least not what I have had an opportunity to witness locally here in the Central District of Seattle with my own eyes.
Enter Caliste's Creole Cuisine, a small Seattle based food service business that is known best for their Po'Boy sandwiches. Caliste's announced earlier this week that they are having a Po'Boy Pop Up on Saturday at Soulful Dishes on Yesler Street in the Central District.
Contrary to the narrative that Black people do not support each others business, one post about the upcoming pop-up was shared by hundreds of people and according to Facebook Analytics the post about the pop-up has reached over 30,000 people and counting in the Seattle area.
According to Caliste's Creole Cuisine's owner, Sean Sylve, the support that he has received for his pop-up thus far via social media has been nothing short than spectacular.
"We were planning to purchase Facebook Ads to boost and promote posts about the pop-up but the posts just took off so fast organically that we did not even need to advertise. We can definitely see the community support of our business" Sean Sylve
Now for sure the support that Caliste's has received cannot be compared in scale with major international brands like Popeye's and Chick-fil-A but considering that most Black owned businesses nationally are small businesses serving their local community the support that Caliste's has received this week is impressive and flies in the face of the narrative that we do not support each other.
Perhaps we need to stop believing the hype and repeating the self defeating narratives and start a new narrative that affirms that we do, we can, and we will support Black businesses.
See you on Saturday at Soulful Dishes. I am anxious to put my money where my mouth and support Caliste's Creole Cuisine and continue to change the narrative (and try one of these po'boys everyone is talking about).