Small Business Saturday: Try these African-American small businesses

theGRIO REPORT - Small Business Saturday, nestled between two more well-established savings frenzies, is still building its reputation...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

You’ve eaten your turkey. You’ve lined up at large retailers to snag deals on big-ticket items. Or perhaps you relished in Black Friday at home, clicking away online from the comfort of your computer chair. But the chances to save during Thanksgiving weekend are not over. Small Business Saturday is here — as is your chance to support black companies as this savings day builds its reputation.

Most people are familiar with Cyber Monday, which is coming up soon for eager online bargain hunters. But, the public is still warming up to Small Business Saturday. Tucked between two well-established savings frenzies, its appeal focuses on the more intimate nature of personal enterprises.

“Nestled between the often over-hyped Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is part of a burgeoning movement to support small, independent and local enterprises during the holiday season,” writes author Dan Danner of this phenomenon. “Small Business Saturday is about Main Street, not Wall Street. It’s about the entrepreneurs, their employees, the families and communities they support. It’s about hard-working men and women who built their businesses from the ground up; who have put everything into the stores, factories and firms that offer what the chains and e-commerce companies cannot—something different, something personal, whether that be handcrafted gifts and other truly unique products, to genuinely friendly service.”

Lawrence Watkins, a frequent contributor to theGrio, is also the co-founder of Ujamaa Deals, a daily deals web destination that focuses on black-owned entities; thus, he has his ear to the streets regarding the best of black small business offerings. View his recommendations below for unique products and services that have that personal touch missing from large retailers, if you want to support both Small Business Saturday and African-American firms.

According to Watkins, promoting black small businesses can ultimately give African-Americans the capital necessary to address our challenges.

“If there is one thing that the black community can do to increase our collective power, it is buying black,” Watkins, who is also the founder of Great Black Speakers, told theGrio. “Underdeveloped economics is currently the root cause of the many social issues that our neighborhoods face. The civil rights movement gave us political equality; now it is time for us to focus on economic equality.”

TheGrio’s Small Business Saturday Shopping Sampler

DN|Be Apparel 
The funky gear available here stays true to the mission of the brand to, “promote positive messages, knowledge, and intellectual curiosity to the youth through fashion, entertainment, and media in order to help combat the negative messages that they are bombarded with every day,” as its site states.

Laguna Candles
Candles always make a great gift. This site has a great selection, and also offers other scented products for bath and body.

Peppermint Chic Jewelry 
Peppermint Chic offers affordable, cool accessories enabling gift-giving that helps you stay within your budget.

Puzzles For Us
These crossword puzzles depicting black history will likely delight and inspire those gifted with them.

Cush Cosmetics Natural Hair and Skin Care
All natural beauty products are all the rage, allowing one to look pretty without the chemicals found in most mainstream products.

Gwen’s Blends Skin Care
These natural skin care products offer a fresh alternative to Carol’s Daughter, and another option for those on a quest to find natural blends with that perfect affinity for you.

Heaven Must Be Like This Pound Cakes
These Avage-sweetened desserts offer a healthier alternative to traditional sweets.

The Kakakiki Brush/Comb for black hair
This unique combs works to detangle the many different textures of African-American hair through its innovative design.

Will you be buying black for Small Business Saturday?

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb