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‘It’s More Than A Moment. It’s A Movement’: Elaine Welteroth Discusses Her '#BuyBlack Friday Show' On Facebook

The New York Times best-selling author, journalist, and television host shares details about the final episode on Friday (Nov. 26).

Black-owned businesses in the U.S. continue to be among the hardest hit by the pandemic, and the upcoming holiday season could be a make or break moment for many of them, according to Facebook, now known as Meta. As a result, more than a third of Black businesses expect to make at least half of their annual revenue in the last three months of the year.

In an effort to support these companies, earlier this month Facebook  launched the #BuyBlack Friday Show, hosted by NY Times best-selling author, journalist, and television host, Elaine Welteroth. She is particularly pleased that corporations like Facebook, which launched a similar campaign in 2020, back the movement, not just with words, but with action.

Her show, which so far has garnered more than 7.5 million views, runs every Friday in November, a total of four weeks for about 30 minutes per episode. It has featured a panel of influencers like Lori Harvey, who launched a skincare line, to discuss the show's overall topics. Now, with Thanksgiving upon us, Welteroth is scheduled to release the final episode on Friday, Nov. 26 at noon (PST).

RELATED: Facebook Announces #BuyBlack Friday Campaign In Support Of Black-Owned Businesses

“It’s really exciting to see this kind of interest in Black brands,” she told BET.com in a recent telephone interview. “Our conceit is that the hashtag is more than a moment. It’s a movement. It takes big brands to get behind it to energize it. It's also very encouraging to see that people are engaging with the content and shopping on the platform.”

The final show on Friday will feature Beaux & Paws, owned by 15-year-old entrepreneur Sir Darius Brown, who knew from an early age that he wanted to make stylish bow ties for both people and pets.

The first show featured Shaquanda’s Hot Pepper Sauce, owned by Andre Springer, who started his business four years ago as an extension of his drag queen persona Shaquanda. The second featured OBIA Naturals, owned by chemist Obia Ewah, who has used her training to create her own all-natural skincare products. Obia was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while at medical school at the age of 26. During an investigation into the cause of her cancer, she was inspired to make her own healthy alternatives.

The third episode featured House of Takura, owned by Annette Njau and featuring eco-friendly bags and sunglasses. Njau left a career in law to be a designer.

Although all guests were special, Ewah’s story was particularly poignant, Welteroth said.

RELATED: Facebook’s #BuyBlack Friday Campaign Seeks to Help Small Black Business All Over the Country

“Meeting her was one highlight,” the host said. “In trying to get healthy, she developed this line of skincare products and has really been focused on making sure her brand stays Black-owned. She told me with tears in her eyes at the end of the taping that this opportunity [appearing on the #BuyBlack Friday Show] was the sign she needed to keep going after the pandemic had been so hard [on her business].”

Ewah also told Welteroth that she had a son during the pandemic, which reinforced the importance of life after the cancer scare.

“It’s an incredible story,’’ Welteroth said. “We were both crying.”

She noted that the episodes allowed her to see the people behind these businesses and stories, and how our dollars are changing lives, and the trajectory of those lives and businesses.

Their stories help motivate us “to be intentional to keep our money in Black businesses,” she said. “I can’t wait for people to tune in for the final episode. We have a really dynamic, and fun show that is also shoppable.”

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