In 2005, Kansas City's black community rose up en masse to stop a developer who wanted to demolish Leon's Thriftway, opened by Leon Stapleton in 1968 following riots after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.   At 90 years old, Stapleton continues to return the commitment by keeping the supermarket thriving and in the news around the nation.  As Black Lives Matter activists rose up this summer, they were able to demonstrate with dollars by visiting Leons.  On Aug. 11, we encourage that spirit to support African-American retailers all year round because they demonstrate their belief in the $1.2 trillion African-American market when most retailers do not.


At Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Plaza, the entire mall is owned by Chicago-based Capri Capital, led by Quentin Primo.   One can also find African-American shops like men's clothing maker James Brumfield, the Jendayi Collection and Southern Girl Desserts plus the Museum of African-American Art.  Nearby are the shops in Leimert Park such as Eso-Wan Books.


Book illustrator Kathleen Atkins Wilson is among the many artists who have exhibited in the Museum of African-American Art in Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw Mall on the third floor of Macy's since 1976.  The current show through Sept. 18 features Toni Humber's Where Black is Brown: the African Diaspora in Mexico.


In Milwaukee, the Midtown Shopping Cener location of Lena's Food Market    is run by a second generation of the family