Blk Mkt Vintage
Now more than ever is time to support Black-owned and founded businesses. One of these businesses with both a devotion to Black history and beautifully-curated pieces is Blk Mkt Vintage.
Blk Mkt Vintage was founded in 2014 by Brooklyn natives Kiyanna Stewart and Jannah
Handy. It aims to provide vintage pieces that feature the narratives of Black folks’ voices and cultural production throughout history. This shop has an ongoing collection of vintage items that center around Black culture; including vintage literature, vinyl records, clothing, art, housewares and decor, furniture, and other goods. The Brooklyn shop hopes to communicate the importance of Black history and culture through well-curated collections by saying “not only do we see you, but we love you as well. You’re worthy. What you’ve created is worthy. You are important here.” A brick-and-mortar shop in Brooklyn, as well as an online e-commerce site is buzzing with t-shirts, pins, and memorabilia that completely echoes the goal and background of the company. This shop is not your everyday vintage shop- yes, vintage shops do carry all sorts of wonderful odds and ends from who knows when, but the pieces at Blk Mkt Vintage also carry with them a narrative of strength and history that is often forgotten: Black history. The shop is also currently doing a collaboration with Philadelphia Print Works entitled “Reclaim BLK,” which, according to their website, “seeks to reimagine the narratives of historical events, artifacts, spaces and communities that have been forgotten, lost and devalued while celebrating the multitudinous legacies of black culture.”
Besides their cool and unique merchandise collection, preserving and furthering Black culture through vintage goods is really important and ultimately, a responsibility to founders Steward and Handy.
“Black people are responsible for civilization as we know and understand it. Our histories are so rich and full of resilience and diversity of thought and experience,” they said to ShoppeBlack in 2017. “As black women, we see this work as a personal responsibility and one that begs of us, integrity and authenticity.
Blk Mkt’s goal is to celebrate and affirm nostalgia of Black history and culture, not marginalize it. This narrative that the company is aiming toward is a timely goal, and by supporting them and purchasing their goods, they not only can continue to stay afloat but also, their narrative can transcend more than just their store and can be continued to both educate and celebrate in our
Blk Mkt vintage is special not only because it features a rad collection of vintage clothing and
goods, but also portrays through these goods the importance, and essential existence of Black
history and pop culture and movements within that history. This idea is one that should be celebrated and supported, currently and going forward.
Blk Mkt Vintage and its values just a glimpse of the wide range of Black-owned shops to support. Aid and relief in the current time, as well as going forward are also main goals of these businesses is important because it not only puts these shops on the map, but also continues to close the racial wealth gap, strengthen economies, create jobs, and support Black culture.
By: Emily Goldberg