Brockton’s Essential Melanin Market Features Black Owned Businesses


BROCKTON – Dozens of local black entrepreneurs decorate their tables with handcrafted goods as DJ KewKew plays a mix of musical genres and Lady C&J Soulfood & Catering feeds the hungry crowd.

The Melanin Essential Market Pop-Up is a three-day event that began Friday and continues Sunday at Westgate Mall to celebrate the new state and federal holiday the tenth of June.

After:How Brockton Area Communities Commemorate the State’s June 1 Vacation

The holiday celebrates the release of the last of Galveston, Texas slaves and when they were alerted to the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 issued the preliminary proclamation releasing the remaining enslaved people in early 1863. But many southern states continued forced labor until Union troops arrived to free the remaining enslaved people. .

Juneteenth gained popularity in 2020 after social justice movements erupted across the United States in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other black Americans.

After:Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. This year’s celebrations come in the midst of a culture war.

Black Owned Brockton, a business advocacy organization specializing in raising awareness of local black businesses, has partnered with Westgate Mall to bring the Melanin Essential Market to life.

“We are delighted to present the Melanin Essential Market Pop-Up, the first in a series of vendor markets partnered with Black Owned Brockton at Westgate Mall,” said Rebekah Macchia, spokesperson for Westgate Mall. “We look forward to the weekend’s pop-up and encourage visitors to support these local businesses.”

Stacey Fragile and Shaleah Gilmer are the founders of Black Owned Brockton and launched her Instagram page last June after the protests in Brockton following Floyd’s murder.

“We want to focus on small businesses and entrepreneurs to create exposure

and resources and educate the community, ”said Fragile. “We are building an environment where entrepreneurs can learn and grow from each other. “

The couple meet once a month on Zoom with other black-owned businesses in the area to discuss a variety of topics.

Black Owned Boston, a corporate advocacy organization, connected Black Owned Brockton with Westgate Mall to plan the pop-out market.

Westgate Mall provided the tables, chairs and helped with the publicity.

Gilmer and Fragile designed all marketing material for the event and selected 35 Brockton suppliers.

“We are very excited,” said Fragile. “It’s almost like a big bang for us, and we’re doing what we love for the community.”

Over 30 local vendors will showcase their art, beauty products, candles, t-shirts, hand-painted wine glasses, books, aromatherapy items and fitness clothing.

There was an overwhelming number of vendors who wanted to participate, but they couldn’t accommodate all of them due to previous COVID-19 restrictions. Still, sellers who were unable to participate in the pop-up will have their products presented in gift baskets that will be raffled off to the public, Fragile said.

Sapphire, a black-owned literacy magazine designed to feature poetry and publish the work of women of color in the community, plans to sell art books, pallets, merchandise and advertise their book club on the pop-up market.

Three women – Christine Barthelemy, Salena Deane and Gioranah Abellard – are the founders of Sapphire.

“We hope the Melanin Essential Market will help us connect with members of the Brockton community and build our network,” said Barthelemy.

Sapphire launched in May 2020 and the group is keen to use their voice to uplift women of color through literature.

“It was a way for us to feel connected and to pursue our passions for art, literature and uplifting black women,” Barthelemy said. “We celebrate women intersectionally and work to create a space where women can socialize, read, learn and build with each other.”

The pop-up market will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. It is located inside the Westgate Mall by JOANN.

Black Owned Brockton plans to hold more events that will engage the community and add a directory on their website where users can search for Black-owned businesses in the area by category. This feature will be available next month on the website.

“Juneteenth is a celebration of black people freed from slavery. My family celebrates every year, and it’s nice to do it,” Gilmer said. “This year, June 17, contribute by buying from a black-owned business.”

Alisha Saint-Ciel can be reached by email at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @alishaspeakss. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.


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