In the summer of 2020, Blax Friday was created on the premise of highlighting Black-owned businesses across Tucson. The original business plan was to introduce a new Black-owned business every Friday, but this quickly grew into something much bigger. Within the first month, the platform erupted and switched from once-a-week updates to full-on partnerships across the Tucson area. Now, almost a year later, the Blax Friday team continues working to uplift the Black community in Arizona and educate the Tucson community as a whole.
With their frequently used Instagram and website, Blax Friday is an outlet for creativity and spotlights restaurants, salons, shops and more local Black-owned businesses. Through partnerships with well-known spots such as Hotel Congress and Hub Ice Cream, Blax Friday is getting their voice and vision heard.
Khailill Knight has been a member of the Blax Friday team from the start, and he touched on the impact of the company.
“Within Arizona, it’s a successful endeavor showing Black people working amongst one another collectively even though we’re less than 10% of the overall population,” Knight said.
When speaking on what he felt the University of Arizona student body can gain from Blax Friday, Knight touched on how the community can come together with them.
“I’d like to speak specifically to the African and Black students and tell them to look out for one another. We should all be working collectively to improve our material conditions and quality of life especially given the circumstances of the world when it comes to us,” Knight said.
Like Knight, Pinnacle Marketing Consulting has worked with Blax Friday from the beginning to amplify their voice. The local marketing group works as a digital strategist for Blax Friday as well as playing a major role in their website development.
Aquil Joel Hameed is Pinnacle Marketing Consulting’s chief marketing officer, and his work with Blax Friday is extensive. Hameed elaborated on what he feels is unique about Blax Friday.
“It was envisioned and built by a team of Black entrepreneurs passionate about amplifying other Black business,” Hameed said.
Hameed elaborated on the role he thought the UA community could play to support Black-owned businesses like the ones included in Blax Friday's directory.
“Tucson and Arizona as a whole has many Black-owned businesses to choose from in a variety of industries. If you understand the history of Black people in this country and why it is important to support an initiative such as this, then you can shop through Blaxfriday.com and support a business,” Hameed said.
Blax Friday's use of social media played a key factor in educating the community and promoting Black-owned businesses. Terrell Henry is the social media and graphic design lead. Henry runs the Blax Friday Instagram and designs graphics across all their social media.
When asked what he thought the University of Arizona student body could do to involve themselves with the company and local Black businesses, Henry mentioned simply checking out their social media feeds.
“I would say just check out our website and our Instagram page for upcoming projects and updates. We are in the process of developing an app, so right now, our website and Instagram are our main two hubs. On those, we have all the Black-owned businesses we know as well as resources and news articles,” Henry said.
Henry also touched on what he feels the most valuable aspect of Blax Friday is for Black students at the UA.
“We are an initiative and a platform dedicated to uplifting and empowering Black individuals and businesses locally. We want to make it accessible to everybody at every time.” Henry said.
Whether you are a student looking shop Black businesses near campus or are interested in ways you can be more in tune with Blax Friday, you can head to their website and Instagram to gain more information about all they offer.
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