BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A staple on West Utica Street, Black Monarchy fills the neighborhood with vivid prints. It's a cultural fashion boutique with a bigger mission.
"When we think about change, and what we can do, we have to be proactive, you have to speak up for the underdog, the fight against oppression can never be won without those who actually benefit from said oppression,"Phylicia Dove, Owner of Black Monarchy said. "So when we think about racism, we need white allyship in order for us to get back to the America we say we want to live in."
In 2017 Phylicia Dove opened her store and started The Black Monarchy Foundation — advocating for the black, brown, immigrant, refugee, and homeless populations. She bases her work on five principles.
"It enables people to not only have support but the strength to advocate for themselves in areas where funding is needed but also help and resources for our communities," Dove said. Here are some organizations that have been working for change in Buffalo that you can support.
- Peaceprints of WNY
- Black Love Resists in the Rust
- African Heritage Food Corp
- Feed Buffalo
- Open Buffalo
- PUSH Buffalo
- Buffalo Go Green
"Is extremely important for black and brown communities in order to create legacies for families," Dove said. Some black-owned retail businesses in our community.
- Rudeboyz artworks
- BLK Python
- The Hair Hive
- I'm Livin B Apparel and Printing
- Dress for Success Buffalo
- Classic Knot
Access to Resources
"Alongside entrepreneurship is Access to Resources. "People fail in the brown and black communities not willingly but because we do not have access to resources our white counterparts have," Dove said. "Allyship can fall into this. We need access to the same resources, if not more, because our communities have suffered for longer periods of time and have had to rebuild ourselves constantly."
"Restorative justice, we have to acknowledge the entire system is broken in order to fix the system we have to dismantle it and rebuild it," Dove said. Dove says she is working with other groups to work on legislation to change policies and provide more resources for undeserved neighborhoods.
"And most importantly… healing. Black monarchy stands on the principle of bringing people back into themselves, giving them their culture back. Giving them permission to live in their full autonomous personhood," Dove said.
You can support the work Black Monarchy and other organizations are doing to work for change. Black Monarchy opens for curbside pickup June 13th.