Helping Repair Black Owned Businesses
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“Sisters Janice and Carolyn Wilbourn peered through the shattered window of their dress shop Saturday night, assessing the damage of a chaotic evening.
The women picked carefully through the broken glass, picked up a mannequin that just hours prior had been displaying one of their custom dresses, and carried it into the store.
“This is devastating,” Janice Wilbourn said through the damaged window. “We’re here for God. This is our ministry. This is our family legacy.”
The black-owned shop, Wilbourn Sisters Designs, was caught in what became the second night of violent protests in downtown Atlanta.
Arthur Harden, a private security guard, yelled at marchers who had smashed the windows of a building on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.
“This is a black-owned business!” he said. “What did this building do to you?”
Leona Barr-Davenport, president and CEO of the Atlanta Business League, said the impact of the protest on local businesses “is one that will be felt financially, especially as we’re trying to come out and work our way out of a pandemic.”
“So this pushes those businesses back even further,” she said, “especially those that were small business owners.”
Thomas Dortch, an Atlanta businessman and national chairman of 100 Black Men of America, said peaceful demonstrations “can get things done,” but when crowds turned violent, “everything got lost in translation.”
“If we don’t get out in front of this right now, and I emphatically say right now, it’s going to be a terrible summer. It’s going to be a dangerous summer. We’re going to be battling COVID, but we’re going to be battling the frustrations that are out there right now,” Dortch said. “What this could spill into, it’s unimaginable. I never thought we’d see the things that we saw in the 60s come back and rear its ugly head again.”
Dortch said there are “systemic issues and poverty that’s got to be addressed. We can no longer turn a blind eye to poverty in this city and this state.”
-AJC article, destruction of black owned buissness during the protests
Hello, I am Mosisa Saba, a 15 year African American who has been watching and carefully studying what is going on in our country for a while. Ever since the Ferguson Riot in 2016, I have dedicated a lot of my time trying to find ways to help put an end to the tragic deaths of our fellow African American brothers. Sadly, with everything that we have done, we are still experiencing racial profiling at an All time High in the last couple years with examples of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. These deaths have caused an National outrage within our cities causing riots to occur, in cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Atlanta, New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland and more. As these riots are occuring, I have noticed a troubling thing that has been going on. As riots are occuring, a lot of looting and destruction has been occuring, causing the destruction of many Black owned business. As we are protesting, We are trying to get equality for ourselves but at the same time, we are destroying businesses made by our brothers and sisters. People such as Janice and Carolyn Wilbourn have worked hard to creating there buissneses, and we have to be able to support our fellow brothers and sisters while we protest. I am making this petition so that we can prove that black buissness have the support of not just there community, but support from around the Country.
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