BALTIMORE — A group of entrepreneurs in Baltimore are creating a community they’re calling the Black Wall Street of Baltimore and they’re encouraging others in the area to support.
Along 25th Street there are at least three blocks full of Black-owned businesses. Some of the owners said their mission is to create a strong economic community.
In addition, they also continue encouraging the youth to explore entrepreneurship as well.
Jacqueline Cummings, who’s the founder of Notre Maison Connects, said the Black Wall Street of Baltimore is what they have named their community.
“These are a lot of young entrepreneurs and this is the whisper, this is the Black Wall Street, well now let’s not whisper it, let’s shout it, let’s talk about it, let’s invite more businesses in,” Cummings said.
Cummings, who owns multiple buildings along 25th Street comprised of several businesses, said she has serviced this community in North Baltimore for around 20 years.
“Being here so long, I’ve seen so many different businesses come in. In the original Black Wall Street in Tulsa Oklahoma, the dollar circulated it in the Black community for over a year,” Cummings said.
Which is what she and many other businesses along 25th Street are promoting right in North Baltimore.
“Do you want to learn about hair? We’re gonna send you to Blush to talk to Ashley. We have Taste This, we have Terra Café. You want to learn how to make your shirts and how to produce your brand? We send you to talk to Mike at Skrued,” Cummings said.
Marcus Catlett manages Skrued, a unisex clothing brand along that strip.
“For others to see like how can you all be on the same block and still like prosper and all y’all be successful. It can be done. Typically in the city of Baltimore it’s a lot of division but not on Black Wall Street,” Catlett said.
Deandre Williams is another entrepreneur who owns the clothing brand “Waaah” and a barbershop connected.
“I just like the Mecca, it’s like Baltimore Rodeo Drive honestly. Me being right here in the center of attention where all of my peers are, all the Baltimore brands, it’s just like together we are better,” Williams said.
There are a host of other businesses along 25th Street between North Howard and Saint Paul Street. There’s even a little free library promoting literacy. And on top of owning and managing businesses, Cummings said through her nonprofit Notre Maison Connects, they’re encouraging youth in the community to be entrepreneurs as well.
“We work with 18 to 21-year-olds so we teach them about entrepreneurship, we teach them about unity, we teach them about supporting each other, and we talk. We have the business owners come in and talk to our young people. We’re not gonna push you down and pull you down, we’re gonna lift you up,” Cummings said.
“My message would be to have discipline. Discipline is a fast track to elevation. You got to discipline yourself when you’re trying to elevate,” Williams said.
Connecting youth in the community to the businesses is just one way they give back to the community. They’re hoping as more people learn about what they’re doing, they will support as well.
Aside from patronizing the many businesses that sit along that strip, you can donate books to the little library. The businesses are also hosting a toy and coat drive in the coming weeks.
Many of the entrepreneurs said they have a host of community events where they give back every holiday, which is another reason to support the Black Wall Street of Baltimore.