Black Farmers Market

Loving light shines on the Bull City this afternoon. Along with hundreds of North Carolina’s most beautiful people, I stand eagerly awaiting a chance to take another step forward. Together we patiently surround Durham’s historic NC Mutual building…thankful for shaded sidewalks and a cool Carolina breeze. In these trying times I find solace in the tune of quiet conversation over the rhythm of cars slowly passing by. I wonder if the  onlookers will park, join us, and find out why we are spending a leisurely hour in line. A few will, I’m sure. Undoubtedly a handful will never know. The growing queue behind me suggests that a great deal took to their phones to find that the Black Farmers Market that they heard about was, in fact, THIS Sunday.

Well worth the wait, we began to see the end of the line and the beginning of the farmers market. Fortunately for the vendors, the people had shown up in droves to pick up fresh produce, flowers, meats, seafood and a plethora of other essentials sold by black entrepreneurs. Unfortunately for me, I’d shown up a little late to contribute my intended portion to the cause; 99% of the vendors had sold out of products by the time we crossed the threshold and into the enclosed parking lot area of The NC Mutual building. Still, I’m happy I was witness to today’s successful venture.

Standing among the lingering crowds scattered about these historic grounds, of what was once the largest Black owned business in the country, I feel a strong sense of pride about our future. It is not lost on me the significance of this day as it relates to the heyday of Black Wall St, with black initiative and entrepreneurship the thread of continuity weaving together this present and the past. I can say very honestly: The feeling of pride far outweighs the disappointment I felt briefly, as I was not able to leave with the fresh crab legs I intended to pick up this afternoon. Thank you to the volunteers and organizers of the event. We needed this. It felt good. I’m looking forward to the next communal dose of empowerment. Thankfully, Black August in the Park is just a few months away.

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