Milwaukee event highlights Black-owned business during BHM

Black History Month is full of events highlighting meaningful people and places.

Saturday, Feb. 20, traveling businesses were in the forefront near Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood. The attention was meant to help them make their own mark.

Pulling into a lot on Holton Avenue, the owner of African's Finest Cuisine is setting himself up for the future.

Starting a new business in the height of a pandemic, Osman Ahmed has a lot on his plate and is hoping exposure can lead to success.

MKE Black Black-owned business event

"That means a lot to us," Osman Ahmed said. "We took that chance and now we are providing for the community."

Customers are getting a true taste of culture.

Rick Banks

Rick Banks, the executive director of MKE Black, said the organization wanted to highlight Black businesses and food trucks in particular during its Black History Month programming.  

"If we are going to build sustainable communities, then we have to support each other using our dollar and time and resources so we can really build a thriving community," Banks said.

MKE Black monthly subscription boxes

Kim Erdman feels the Saturday event was a safe and creative way to do so.

"We want to give Black-owned businesses a platform to showcase their business, owners a chance to showcase their food and bring the community together for a good cause," Erdman said.

More than just a meal, a monthly subscription box is curated from products from Black-owned businesses in Milwaukee. 

"I see the future as inspirational," Ahmed said.

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MKE Black is a non-profit that's dedicated to providing a one-stop-shop for Black-owned businesses, events, culture, and sites in the city of Milwaukee through its website and app. The organization wants the community to not only remember history but help make the future bright as well.

The next MKE Black event will be a virtual conversation called "Black people in Milwaukee," with the Wisconsin Black Historical Society. For details on that and more visit mkeblack.org.

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