The Black Entrepreneur State Fair is designed to support Black businesses. This year’s opening drew over 2000 attendees with bouncy houses, 70 vendors, and live entertainment outside Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. Feven Gerezgiher reports
Feven Gerezgiher reports:
While many celebrate the opening of the Minnesota State Fair this week, people like Isaac Kamsin are sticking to the all black atmosphere across the river at the Black Entrepreneur State Fair.
“I like the idea that this is black-owned,” said Kamsin. “I like to see the diversity of businesses here. You have food, you have apparel… And also just seeing the state coming out here, supporting it with some housing stuff. I think that’s really cool. Good concentration of talent and businesses.”
Co-organizer Keandrea Shelby said the fair started last year as a way to support Black businesses at a time when everything was closed. This year, she said the fair drew over 2000 attendees to its opening, with bouncy houses, 70 vendors, and live entertainment outside Midtown Global Market.
Racial justice advocates have criticized the Minnesota State Fair in recent years for having a disproportionate number of white vendors relative to the state’s population. General Manager Jerry Hammer said the Minnesota State Fair is working to streamline the vendor selection process. The Fair is also gathering data to create a baseline for future diversity work.
At the Black Entrepreneur State Fair, vendors like horticulturalists Shontay Evans appreciate that Black dollars are circulating within the community.
“I’ve been doing my business for two years and this is one of the biggest events I’ve ever done. I’m really happy to be a part of it because seeing all these Black people out here doing our thing is really happy and humbling,” she said.
The Black Entrepreneur State Fair is also launching a girls mentorship program and a back-to-school drive. Visitors can donate new backpacks for entry through the end of the fair this Saturday.
Photo Credit: King Demetrius Pendleton
Subscribe to hear Daily Updates in your podcast feed
- Potter Found Guilty in Death of Daunte WrightAfter three days of deliberation a jury found former Brooklyn Center police officer Kimberly Potter guilty of two counts of manslaughter in the death of Daunte Wright. Feven Gerezgiher reports
- Potter Jury Continues DeliberationsAs jury deliberation continues in the Kim Potter trial, many are evaluating the state of racial justice in Minnesota. We talk to former Hennepin County Chief Public Defender Mary Moriarty. Chioma Uwagwu reports
- Kim Potters’ TearsKim Potter’s crying in court is more than an expression of remorse; it’s part of a history of white women weaponizing their tears against people of color. Tiffany Bui reports.
- Jury Deliberations Underway in Potter TrialThe state’s prosecution and the defense made their closing arguments Monday. Georgia Fort reports.