Supporting Black-owned businesses in MKE

Students+fight+for+change+against+social+injustice+in+the+Milwaukee+community.+Marquette+Wire+stock+photo

Students fight for change against social injustice in the Milwaukee community. Marquette Wire stock photo

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought awareness to the way people are treated in our everyday lifestyle, and it has encouraged many students to find ways of protesting against social injustice, standing up for what they believe in and supporting the Black community during this time.

Julia McNeil, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, took part in planning the Mark Up Marquette event that took place on campus June 11, and she said she encourages students to take even more action in the community. McNeil said she believes Black lives matter at Marquette, in Milwaukee and everywhere.

“We — as Marquette students, as allies, as members of this community, as human beings of empathy — need to commit ourselves to action and continue this movement even when the media coverage subsides,” McNeil said in an email. She said one way to do so is by supporting Black-owned businesses in the community.

Here are some Black-owned businesses in Milwaukee that you can start supporting today, but be sure to continue following the necessary safety precautions when going out. According to the CDC, you must wear a face mask, be cautious of hand hygiene and social distance from others as much as possible. Another option aside from dining in is to takeout food to eat at home.

Ashley’s Bar-B-Que

Ashley’s Bar-B-Que has been serving homemade barbecue and soul food recipes for over 50 years. According to its website, Mr. Thomas Ashley Jr. started “Ashley’s Drive-in Barbecue” at 1501 West Center Street as a hobby after leaving his previous job at A.O. Smith., a manufacturing company for residential and commercial water heaters and boilers.

In 2014, his son, Darnell, took over the family business, and currently owns Ashley’s Bar-B-Que, which continues to have a strong emphasis on family-style meals. Family meals come with pans of your choice of meat, large coleslaw, beans or potato salad and bread.  They also offer a variety of sandwich options, including grilled cheese, pork chop and beef barbecue sandwiches. To top off their meal, customers can choose from caramel cake, double chocolate cake, banana pudding and pecan pie for dessert.

For students, this is about a 10 minute Uber ride from Marquette.

On the Bayou

If you are looking for a fancier meal after being stuck at home for several months, get a taste of New Orleans at On the Bayou, Milwaukee’s only authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine restaurant. On The Bayou is typically known for its high-end food, for the entertainment and for hosting special events and banquets. However, some rules and are being shifted to practice social distancing amid continuous COVID-19 concerns.

On the Bayou’s menu includes catfish, shrimp and wing platters, as well as gumbo and crab boil. All platters come with fries and slaw. Crab boil meals include crab clusters, shrimp, andouille sausage, potatoes and corn. According to its website, reservations are highly recommended. On the Bayou is located at 2053 Martin Luther King Dr., and they can be contacted at 414-539-5432.

Coffee Makes You Black

Coffee Makes You Black offers breakfast all day every Monday to Saturday. The menu offers a combination of pancakes, waffles, bacon, ham, eggs and more. Lunch and dinner options include sandwiches, fish or chicken dinners and salads. The chicken and waffle special is served all day.

Coffee Makes You Black strives to “provide a place with a ‘cultural cafe’ that embraces the culture of the African diaspora,” according to its Facebook page. Its motto is “In the Community, for the Community.” They want all ethnic backgrounds to be welcomed into the shop, and use Facebook as a way of having open communication with customers.

Coffee Makes You Black is located at 2803 North Teutonia Avenue. Customers can also order ahead with the Clover app instead of dining in or waiting for takeout.

The Bronzville Collective

The Bronzville Collective is a collaborative storefront that features several local small businesses selling jewelry, artwork and more. It is located next to the historical Black Holocaust Museum at 339 W. North Avenue.

According to its website, The Bronzville Collective is a “100% black owned business” and its mission is to “empower other black, brown and queer creatives in Milwaukee and beyond.” In lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic, for extra safety precautions, customers can also shop for products online here.

This story was written by Skyler Chun. She can be reached at skyler.chun@marquette.edu.