Throngs of shoppers converged on A. Philip Randolph Boulevard from Union to Odessa Street on Jacksonville’s Eastside, a historical African American community for their inaugural Black History Month Parade and Melanin Market. Duval residents were able to shop with 150 Black-owned businesses which also served as a venue for a black history tribute.
The streets were filled with food trucks, a kid’s zone, live music, DJ, prize giveaways, a parade and a day of networking with neighbors, families and friends. The Melanin Market, created in 2017 is a platform that provides increased accessibility to the products and services of minority-owned businesses. The energetic and upbeat event offers minority businesses a connection with consumers they may not otherwise reach and capture the attention of consumers who seek specialty items from African American vendors and supporters. Two of the markets biggest events are their Juneteenth and Black Friday shopping holidays.
Other than isolated pockets throughout the city, Jacksonville has no concentration of Black owned business in the city. Events such as the Melanin Market offer an opportunity to showcase vendors and make an economic impact in underserved communities.
Shown is the Willie family enjoying their melanin market shopping day.