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Paula Rogo
May, 26, 2018

A group of black-owned coffee shops in Philadelphia is building a #CoffeeWhileBlack campaign to encourage consumers to visit black-owned coffee shops countrywide.

The event will occur on the same day that Starbucks closes its doors nationwide to provide racial-bias training to about 175,000 workers. The coffee shop chain announced the training after two Black men were arrested while waiting for a friend at a Philadelphia location.

One black-owned coffee shop, Red Bay Coffee, is hosting a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, May 29 that covers two areas:  how to stop retail racism and how to support black-owned businesses. It will include a tour of other black-owned coffee shops in the city.

"While Starbucks is closed, consumers can support the hundreds of Black-owned and -operated coffee shops in Philly and across the country that will be open for business," according to Red Bay Coffee's website.

According to the Root, the goal of the roundtable is to “bring attention to the larger implications of what happened at Starbucks, promote the importance of inclusive and fair business models as a way to advance racial justice, and encourage people in Philadelphia and on social media to support black-owned alternatives to Starbucks.”

The local initiative will be attended by local black-owned coffee shop owners and activists. The tour will include Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse, Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books,  Little Jimmie’s, and Franny Lou’s Porch. 

A livestream of the event will be streamed on ESSENCE.com on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, at 9 a.m. EST. You can find out more information on the Red Bay Coffee website.