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Thriving Black-Owned Marketplace Hailed As Sacramento’s Black Wall Street

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Florin Square, in South Sacramento, Home of the SoJourner Truth Museum is also known for something else. The area is the home to a multitude of black-owned businesses, nonprofits and community programs. The owner of the building, Tom Donaldson says, “I bought the building back in 2003. My goal for acquiring the building and keeping it going is to emulate a Black Wall Street environment. Our mainstays are education, wellness, economic development and our culture.”

“When you walk into Florin Square it does mirror the community. Besides the owner (of Florin Square) being of African-American descent, (our vendors) are 100% minority owned, 85% Black owned and 60% women owned. We take great pride in those numbers,” said Aaron Boyce, Florin Square Marketing Director.

Florin Square is also home to a bi-weekly African market that is composed of over 30 vendors who showcase their wide range of products. Not only does it allow for the vendors to build their customer base, but also the ability for them to network.

“The inspiration for me, a lot of vendors have young people working with them. They have young men, young Black boys, teenagers…that is the most inspiring thing for me because it’s not really about my generation. It’s about the generations after us so they can continue and expand even more on Black businesses, Black awareness, Black success stories and changing the narrative of how it is that people look at us and our children, particularly young, Black, African-American males,” said Nicole Lewis, long-time customer at the African Market Place, now vendor and owner of Ignite Well Within.

Original Article: The Sacramento Bee

Image Credit: Anne Njuguna, right, who owns Kitenge 365 Everyday African Wear and is originally from Kenya, answers questions from Veronica Farwell, center, of Sacramento, and her sister, Victoria Farwell, of Fresno, at the African Market Place on Saturday, Oct. 17. It helps me recharge, it gives me a feeling of home and it also encourages me to keep building my business, Njuguna said of the recurring event, scheduled for the first and third Saturday of each month. XAVIER MASCAREÑAS XMASCARENAS@SACBEE.COM

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