One Friday out of every month the Buffalo Soldiers Museum hosts an event titled BLCK Market Houston (formerly held at the Houston Museum of African American Culture). It’s a gathering of black owned businesses and entrepreneurs that allow them to set up shop as vendors and showcase their talents! Vendors will be selling clothes, jewelry, health and beauty items, items for holistic healing, books, poetry, candles, art, food and will even have a live podcast and performances taking place! The curators of The BLCK Market, J.O. Malone (who is also the founder and president of The National Black Film Festival) and Nate Edwards, have uncovered treasure in our rich city.
Q: What was the driving force behind the creation of this event?
A: The driving force behind the event was the need to cultivate a community that was supportive. Unite a community of artists, entrepreneurs, and creatives under one space.
Q: How long after the dream did it all become a reality?
A: The first Market we had was pretty affirming. We only had seven companies, but they ranged from clothes to kayaks. The first two artists we had were photographer Unique James and artist Tobe Nwigwe. We had an amazing turn out. On the night of the first event, we realized we had something special.
Q: Was there always a clear vision on how this would be accomplished?
A: We’ve always had a clear vision of what we want, but getting there wasn’t always clear. There’s a real issue with young creatives getting access to spaces to create their dreams in Houston. We ran into similar problems, but with the help of venues like HMAAC AND Buffalo Soldiers Museum, we’ve been able to clearly map out our vision.
Q: You’re in a position to help guide those who may have similar goals for their lives. Is there any advice you would offer?
A: Just go for it, of course, but consistency and staying true to your mission is key. We haven’t re-invented the wheel, but our consistency and passion to continue to express ourselves are what have gotten us here. So advice, keep those things at the forefront of everything you do.
Black owned businesses are definitely on the come up. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to gather to offer the support needed to help build and grow these businesses! BLCK Market Houston’s next event will be held on Friday, December 14th at 3816 Caroline Street from 6pm-10pm. Tickets are $2 online and $5 at the door. If you’re free this weekend, don’t waste an entire Friday on the couch! Get out and catch these vibes!
Find out more and keep up with the movement by following @blckmarkethouston, and these young trailblazers @J.O.Malone and @Natethedirector on Instagram.