Explore

#TheBlackHour Fights Gentrification By Promoting Happy Hours At Black-Owned Restaurants

By Danielle Dorsey

Share

Since May, a Brooklyn-based group has been promoting happy hour events at Black-owned and POC-friendly bars under the hashtag #TheBlackHour in hopes of saving such establishments from spreading gentrification. 

The idea came from Addy Salau, an artist and the founder of Party Blackly, a media and event platform that increases audience engagement for up-and-coming Black artists. Salau launched the organization in 2018. It’s opening party brought together more than 700 Black New Yorkers for a screening of Marvel’s “Black Panther” film. The success of this event convinced Salau to use the same strategy for supporting local artists in her home borough of Brooklyn.

The first installation of #TheBlackHour was held in Prospect Heights at the Black-owned Ode to Babel bar, which was under threat of losing its liquor license due to a complaint that spread across the Next Door App. 

More than 75 people RSVP’d to the event, and Salau had to close the list to keep it under venue capacity.  A special tequila-based cocktail called “Black Joy” was crafted for the event while a local DJ spun a playlist dominated by local Black artists. Guests were issued wristbands that labeled them as “artist,” “activist,” or “entrepreneur” to encourage networking.

Just a few days after the event, the local community board received 180 letters defending Ode to Babel’s place in the community and decided to move forward with the bar’s liquor license renewal.

In 2018, Ode to Babel was subject to a city raid carried out under former Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s MARCH program. Such raids are random and unannounced, often leading to fines for petty violations. Another bill has been introduced by Brooklyn City Councilmembers Stephen Levin and Rafael Espinal that would force the Mayor’s office to issue quarterly reports on the MARCH raids that specify which businesses were targeted, what complaints led to the raids, and any resulting closures or summons. The councilmembers are hopeful that the bill will be passed this summer and force the NYPD to operate with more transparency. 

Salau plans to continue hosting #TheBlackHour events this fall and to increase the visibility of Black-owned bars across Brooklyn.

Share
Travel Noire

Danielle Dorsey

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Meet The Mom Of Three Behind New Orleans’ Newest Black-Owned Wine Company

Meet The Mom Of Three Behind New Orleans’ Newest Black-Owned Wine Company

“Being a Black woman with a wine company makes me feel on top of the world,” Kim Lewis, owner and creator of Ole’ Orleans Wines, proudly tells Travel Noire. The New Orleans native is now among the 1% of Black-woman owned wine companies, and she did it all on her own. As a woman who […]

DeAnna Taylor

After Visiting Every Country In The World, Jessica Nabongo Launches ‘The Catch’

After Visiting Every Country In The World, Jessica Nabongo Launches ‘The Catch’

Jessica Nabongo made history this year by becoming the first documented black woman to travel to every country in the world. You can take a look at her incredible journey via her Instagram account which currently has 180,000 followers and counting. RELATED: 11 Influential Black Women In Travel You Should Know Now, Nabongo is setting […]

Leah Freeman-Haskin

Founder Of Black-Owned Vodka Brand Is Opening Cafe & Bar In NYC

Founder Of Black-Owned Vodka Brand Is Opening Cafe & Bar In NYC

You may know Vanessa Braxton as the owner of Black Momma Vodka – the unique handcrafted spirit blends infused with natural tea, spices, and sugar cane. The New York native launched Black Momma Vodka in 2013 and since her launch,  has expanded her empire by making teas and flavored agave which has garnered up an […]

Parker Diakite