During Black History Month, we recognize and honor the contributions and achievements of African Americans throughout history and today. This year we are celebrating Black History Month by supporting local African-American-owned businesses run by friends, neighbors, and community members.
From handmade goods and fabulous canteens to amazing candy and restaurants, there are many African-American-owned businesses you can support today and every day. And while there are so many amazing businesses on this list, there are many more Black-owned businesses in the community to explore and visit.
Black-Owned Business Near Oak Park, IL
Afriware Books (Maywood)
Afriware Books in Maywood, IL is more than just a bookstore. It is a center of black culture and a place to celebrate the voices of the black community. Since 1993, they have provided a platform for authors, artists, and advocates to present their work. They believe in the power of storytelling and strive to create a space where Black stories can be shared, celebrated, and heard.
House of the Pure (Forest Park)
Casa de Puros is a stylish cigar lounge and store in the heart of Forest Park. With doors opening onto Madison Street in the warmer months, it transforms into an outdoor lounge. In addition to the public smoking area, the lounge also offers a VIP lounge at the rear of the store, complete with high-backed leather chairs, a fireplace, and a cozy atmosphere. Whether you want to treat yourself or someone else, Casa de Puros is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a finely crafted cigar.
Civinte Candle Bar (Oak Park)
The Civinte Candle Bar in Oak Park offers an elegant and unique shopping experience. In addition to selling pre-made candles, the shop allows customers to create their own custom scent using coconut and apricot wax that can be poured and taken home the same day. Whether you're buying a pre-made candle or creating your own scent, there are plenty of options at Civinte Candle Bar.
One (Oak Park)
Founded by Lita and supported by her partner Zach, Einnim was launched in May 2020 to help their immunocompromised friends find a way to cope with society's uncontrollability. Einnim is a candle bar and drugstore specializing in handmade products, including beautifully custom-made soy wax candles, goat's milk soap bars, and hair and body products. Their products are made with great attention to detail and a desire to provide exceptional quality to their customers, and they are all cruelty free.
Melanin House (Oak Park)
Experience the difference at the incredible House of Melanin in Oak Park. With a focus on personalized hair care and quality products, you can care for your hair like never before. Their knowledgeable staff strives to provide the best possible service and help you find the right products for you. Whether you're looking for natural hair care tools, the latest in hair extensions, or expert personal advice, House of Melanin offers it all with the highest level of customer service.
Style 4 Kidz (Oak Park)
Styles 4 Kidz is an organization serving multiracial and transracial foster and adoptive families who lack the knowledge and resources to care for their children's textured hair. The organization offers programs, workshops and training to support families and provide them with the tools to properly manage their children's hair type. Styles 4 Kidz is dedicated to empowering families by providing them with the resources they need to be confident in their children's hair.
Glitter Nail Salon (Oak Park)
The Glitter Nail Salon in Oak Park offers a luxurious, personalized experience for all your beauty needs. Choose from the wide range of services, including classic manicures, deluxe spa pedicures, and special packages. Whether it's to celebrate a birthday, promotion or engagement, make it even more special by booking a private party at Glitter Nail Salon.
The Nail Spa Pamper Room (Oak Park)
The Pamper Room Nail Spa in Oak Park is a premier destination for all your nail care needs. You are in good hands with a team of highly qualified and licensed technicians. From classic manicures to waxing services, the spa is a proud business owned by African-Americans committed to making their clients feel comfortable, relaxed and rejuvenated. With over 27 years of experience, businesswoman Traci Joyner O. is passionate about making clients look and feel great.
Food and drinks
Benjamins Gourmet-Palomitas (Broadview)
Benjamin's Gourmet Popcorn in Broadview offers a unique and delicious combination of treats for everyone to enjoy. You can try any of their specialties, such as their Jerk Egg Rolls, Jerk Nachos, or Jerk Tacos. Or try the star of the show, their delicious popcorn. With flavors like butta butta and creamy white cheddar cheese, there's plenty of flavor here.
Mixed Diet (Berkeley)
Based in Bellwood, Blended Nutrition is a one stop shop for all your healthy beverage needs. They offer an extensive menu of delicious protein shakes, teas, and rotating specialties like chocolate covered strawberries and red velvet caramel macchiato. Whether you're looking for a pre- or post-workout drink or a healthy snack, Blended Nutrition has you covered.
Cajun Hervir & Bar (Oak Park)
Cajun Boil & Bar is a casual eatery serving a fusion of fresh seafood and southern comfort food loved by the locals. This lively restaurant offers dishes influenced by Louisiana cuisine, invites diners to share plates and bar favorites, and prides itself on its flavorful sauces. With upbeat music, multiple TV screens and a fun atmosphere, the Cajun Boil & Bar is the perfect place to gather for delicious food.
Chicago Chicken Shack (Broadview)
Chicago's Broadview Chicken Shack has consistently been voted one of the best chickens in the area by residents. The menu features delicious fried chicken, either in a spicy or mild sauce and topped with lemon or black pepper, as well as fried fish fillets and fried shrimp baskets. It's not uncommon to see a line out the door and we understand why.
Chubby's Hot Chicken (Waldpark)
This one goes out to everyone who likes it spicy. Oak Park resident Prentiss Harris recently opened Chubby's Hot Chicken in Forest Park. And from what we hear? It's already a hit. His goal was to put his spin on the infamous Nashville Hot Chicken, and he did. Everyone is already talking about the delicious food and we are here for it!
Daisy's Drops (Brookfield)
GRND Coffee House is an Oak Park artisan coffee retailer offering a variety of packaged ground and whole bean coffees, as well as a diverse selection of teas and accessories. All of their coffee blends are locally sourced and custom roasted in Illinois. GRND Coffee House's mission is to offer its customers the most aromatic and best-tasting coffee blends.
Harvest 365 (Waldpark)
Harvest 365 Restaurant and Fresh Grill is a culinary destination that promises a unique dining experience. With an international menu featuring bold and flavorful dishes, each bite will transport you to a different part of the world. The design of the restaurant, with its earthy textures, warm colors and mix of metals, creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere that will make you feel relaxed and at ease.
Kingston Market African and Caribbean Food (Maywood)
Kingston Market is the perfect place to experience a taste of the Caribbean and Africa in one convenient location. As a family-owned grocery store, they offer a warm and welcoming environment where customers can find all the ingredients and spices they need to prepare authentic and delicious meals at home. And for those looking for a quick and easy meal, there are a variety of delicious dishes to enjoy on-site, including favorites like Jamaican Chicken and Red Snapper.
Café Kribi (Oak Park y Forest Park)
Kribi Coffee Air Roastery is a local favorite and it does not disappoint. Their goal is to raise the bar for sustainable coffee and bring it to their customers cup after cup. You can try one of their rotating specialty drinks, like RBG Matcha for Women's History Month, or grab a Nitro Cold Brew if you're busy. Hungry? Try one of their delicious baked goods like Bonjour Bakery's pan au chocolat or a savory rosemary bagel.
Delicious Jamaican Restaurant (Maywood)
Looking for amazing Jamaican flavors in the western suburbs? Look no further than Lickle Jamaica in Maywood, ILWith a menu full of authentic Jamaican dishes, you're sure to find something you love. From their succulent jerk chicken to their melt-in-your-mouth plantains, there's no shortage of delicious food on the menu. Stop by to see why your customers rave about the amazing food and experience they get at Lickle Jamaica.
Montego Bay (Bellwood)
Ultimate Food for Priscilla's Soul (Hillside)
Priscilla's Ultimate Soulfood Cafeteria is a family-owned restaurant located in Hillside, Hanover Park, and Hazel Crest, Illinois. They offer affordable southern dining with friendly service and delicious cuisine made with love in every bite. Popular dishes include the Southern Chicken Dinner and the Fried Catfish Dinner. The restaurants are managed by owners Priscilla and Mansfield Redmond, who are committed to ensuring guests have a great dining experience every time they visit.
Tee Tees Dulces (Oak Park)
Tee Tee's Sweets is a family business that has been offering sweets for almost 20 years. Born out of a love of baking, Tee Tee's Sweets specializes in custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies for events of all sizes, from birthdays to weddings and corporate events. The owner, a self-taught cake decorator, has honed her skills over the years and keeps up with the latest industry trends and techniques.
Sha-poppin Gourmet-Popcorn (Westchester)
Sha-poppin Gourmet Popcorn is a Chicago-based popcorn company dedicated to delighting customers' taste buds with its unique and delicious flavors. They use fresh, quality ingredients to create more than 40 flavors, from classic cheeses to exotic flavors like 24-karat edible gold-coated caramel. In addition to its gourmet popcorn, Sha-Poppin offers frozen yogurts and signature toppings only available in the store. Whether patrons are looking for something classic or adventurous, Sha-poppin has something for everyone with a sweet tooth.
Restaurante Surf's Up (Oak Park, Maywood)
Surf's Up Restaurant in Maywood is a beach-inspired dining experience serving fresh and delicious seafood prepared to order. The menu offers a variety of dishes including the famous ThaBomb shrimp and lobster sandwich and a variety of vegetarian options for non-meat eaters. On Sundays, the restaurant offers a special soul food menu, perfect for nourishing the soul. With a focus on quality and a commitment to using the freshest ingredients, Surf's Up is the place to go for great food and relaxation.
The founding of Black History Month
Black History Month, also known as African American History Month, was first established as a weeklong observance in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of the Life and History of the Blacks. The celebration was later expanded to include the entire month of February 1976 by President Gerald Ford, who recognized the importance of honoring the contributions and achievements of African Americans in the nation's history.
Black History Month is a time to honor the struggles, challenges, and triumphs of African Americans throughout American history. It's an opportunity to celebrate those who impacted this country through their activism and achievements, and to remember the challenges African Americans have faced, including slavery, discrimination, and equality. Through celebrations, exhibits, and educational programs, the month-long celebration provides opportunities for reflection, understanding, and continued commitment to a more just and just society.