Phoebe Robinson to host Facebook’s ‘#BuyBlack Friday’ Show
The show is an accompaniment to the #BuyBlack Friday Gift Guide that Facebook just released ahead of Black Friday
When COVID-19 hit the U.S., mandatory lockdowns caused many small and large businesses to shut down at unprecedented rates. According to Facebook, Black businesses have closed their doors at twice the rate of other small businesses.
In order to help curb the devastating effects this would have on Black business owners, Facebook announced their #BuyBlack Friday campaign. The campaign consists of a Gift Guide which features businesses and resources to make it easy for people to search for products from Black-owned businesses.
In addition to the gift guide, Facebook decided to engage one of the funniest voices in entertainment to help promote these businesses in a meaningful, yet entertaining way. Phoebe Robinson will be hosting a weekly show on Facebook called the ‘#BuyBlack Friday Show’. Each Friday from today, Oct 30 to Nov 27, Robinson will speak with guests about entrepreneurship and try to inspire people to buy Black.
“I really think that everything in my career has been about a) being funny, b) having something to say and c) using my platform to help amplify others. The fact that each episode we’re amplifying three different businesses allows me to carry that theme of making sure it’s not just about me, it’s about this larger community we’re all apart of,” said Robinson.
Capitalizing on Black Friday could be instrumental in the success of many struggling businesses, but that’s not the only reason Facebook decided to take this step now.
“More than 3.5 million people on Facebook in the U.S. have joined new groups created to support Black-owned businesses since March,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, in a statement.
The trend to buy Black really blew up this year during a time of heightened racial awareness across. The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others, in addition to the neglect that the Black community faces during the ongoing pandemic, lit a spark across the country. In an effort to make things more equitable, people of all races came out in droves to support Black businesses.
But Robinson wants to acknowledges these businesses and entrepreneurs outside of the pain and struggle they face. She wants to celebrate the creativity they have and support the joy they put into their businesses.
“I would say in general the perception is that Black people are so much just their trauma and the things they have to endure in society,” said Robinson. “I think it’s great to highlight how wide ranging the Black experience is and celebrate these people who have been showing up in their communities and really providing us with products that we love, that make us feel good about ourselves.”
One product that has really helped Robinson along the way is a ring from the store Ben Oni. Ben Oni is one of the businesses featured in the gift guide and creates affordable luxury jewelry.
“Sometimes I get kind of nervous about jewelry because I feel like I could overdo it. I think Ben Oni is great because they make a lot of timeless pieces,” said Robinson. “I have this one ring that I got from them and I wear it every single day now. It’s my favorite. I put it on before I go write and it makes me feel empowered and it makes me just feel happy and joyful.”
Robinson says she loves all of the businesses featured on the show and is thankful to Facebook for creating a guide that isn’t just centered in major cities as there are Black businesses all over the country.
“For example Fulton Street Books & Coffee, the owner who I’m interviewing, Onikah, her bookstore slash cafe is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” said Robinson. “It’s really nice to now be like here’s another place that I can shop that’s not based in New York but I can fulfill my book loving dreams. I have been buying a lot of books over quarantine so it’ll be really good to get that connection there so that way I can support more businesses.”
“We can’t just normalize talking about the pain and trauma of Black people. We have to also normalize talking about the entrepreneurship that’s within the Black community.”
Robinson says that whenever she sending a gift, she tries to make sure that she uses Black on companies if she can. That way, she can promote and spread the word about these companies in an organic way – not just when it’s trendy.
Robinson has made a successful career out of bringing positivity and joy to the to the Black experience. Robinson and Jessica Williams’s popular podcast turned HBO series, 2 Dope Queens, was a critical success. Robinson is a New York Times best-selling author and is now working on a new show for Comedy Central and her very own literary imprint.
The first episode of the live “#BuyBlack Friday Show” premieres today at 2 p.m. EST on Facebook.
Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!