By Max Londberg
The Kansas City Star
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new app called “Black Privilege” helps direct consumers to black-owned businesses.
The Kansas City Star
Tyia Adair, a 26-year-old entrepreneur, wants to find black illustrators and graphic designers for her business, A Beautiful, Wonderful Me, which sells children’s books. She’s also looking to patronize black-owned beauty salons to “support my own.”
Marvin Lyman, an African-American like Adair, seeks black contractors and Realtors for partnerships with his new real estate development business, Sankofa EDG, LLC.
And Stephanie Corral, who is Hispanic, wishes to network with other minority business owners such as herself, and particularly black entrepreneurs.
“I’d like to reach out to the black community to build platforms — to strengthen that community,” Corral said.
All three Kansas City-area residents agree that a new app, called Black Privilege, can help close the wealth gap separating black families from those of other races by directing consumers to black-owned businesses.
The nonprofit app officially launched Thursday night at an event in Kansas City’s 18th & Vine Jazz District. It is bankrolled by a wealthy philanthropist from Los Angeles, Morris Young, who selected Kansas City as the location for the app’s pilot phase, with hopes for expansion nationwide.
Young, 69, amassed a significant fortune through real estate investments, according to his daughter, Kimberly Young, who serves as the app’s creative director.
Users of the app can search by category — Automotive, Computers & Electronics, Nightlife, Religion — for black-owned or black-run organizations. It also allows for business-to-business networking, and its organizers say they will offer educational programs for consumers and workshops for business owners.
Kimberly Young spoke Thursday from the stage of the Gem Theater to the approximately 200 people assembled for the event.
“Since the soles of our feet touched the floorboards of slave ships, we’ve been denied privilege,” she said.