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How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned Birmingham, Alabama

By Rachel George

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Birmingham is one of the blackest cities in America, known for its historical legacy, variety of eateries, and thriving community of black-owned businesses. 

Here’s how you can spend your dollars supporting the community.

Shop for African Clothing.

Located in Birmingham’s historic Fourth Avenue Business District, Ferrill African Wear is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 am to 5 pm. The storefront also acts as a safe space to have conversations about race and black history, while educating others about our culture through fashion. According to owner Shirley Ferrill, her collection features pieces from Sierra Leona, Ghana, Kenya, and other African countries.

Ferrill African Wear Facebook

Make a donation in return for some soul food  

There are no prices listed on the menus at Drexell & Honeybees Restaurant. Instead, a donation of any amount is appreciated in exchange for food. Drexell & Honeybees promotes kindness and inclusivity, feeding the community 12,200 meals between March and September, according to owners Lisa Thomas-McMillan and her husband, Freddie. They are open Monday-Friday between 11 am and 1 pm.

Ladies Only Golf Sessions.

Build connections with local businesswomen at SisterGolf. It’s a great way to meet new people in a new city. Owner Shella Sleya educates women on the knowledge of leveraging golf as a networking tool for professional engagement and relationship building, ultimately getting more women to play. Check their Facebook page for updates on events and pop-ups. 

Eat Birmingham’s Famous Fried Chicken.

Nothing compares to Yo Mama’s famous fried chicken combos. Feast on chicken & waffles, pancakes or french toast combos for $11.95. Their spinach and artichoke chicken is a crowd favorite. Other tasty dishes on the menu include gouda & bacon stuffed pork chops,  bacon-wrapped meatloaf served with green beans & mashed potatoes, and salmon croquettes and waffles topped with fruit for breakfast.

Yo Mama’s Facebook

Explore Birmingham’s Civil Rights Monuments.

Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument as it details the story of leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others during the civil rights movement in the Civil Rights District. The entire monument encompasses over four blocks featuring landmarks the A.G. Gaston Motel where King and his team strategized their non-violent campaign, Kelly Ingram Park, where protesters were violently attacked in 1963 and 16th Street and Bethel Baptist Church, which were both bombed during that era several times.

A.G. Gaston Motel (Getty Images)

Indulge in pie heaven and other pastries.

JaWanda’s Sweet Potato Pies is a family-owned bakery known for its southern cooking and hospitable service. The idea came from owner JaWanda Jackson and her husband’s love for his favorite dessert. She started selling her signature sweet potato pies in markets and local stores like Piggly Wiggly and Cowboy before opening a bakery and pie shop last year.

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