Go Local at Essence Fest: Organizations & Businesses to Support

Black New Orleans is still recovering post-Hurricane Katrina. Many businesses and organizations still need support in a city that is increasingly becoming gentrified.  Be sure to support the vendors inside the Convention Center, but If you’re willing to go beyond the tourist traps, here’s some cool places to check out:



Here’s some local business that could use your tourism dollars:

Community Book Center – The last Black bookstore standing in New Orleans. Buy books and goodies made by locals. Recently renovated and not far from a  New Orleans buffet at Li’l Dizzy’s.

Ashe Cultural Arts CenterDedicated to African and African-American culture. Purchase books, music, art and more from locals.  Walk in and it feels like home.

Charlie Boy is a modern resale store that specializes in designer menswear.


McKenna Museum of African-American Art  Permanent exhibit as well as special exhibits with the work of painter Vitus Shell–“Must Be Two Sides, The Dualities of the Black Experience” (curated by Jennifer Williams) and “Raise,” the first US exhibit for Jeannette Ehlers (curated by Taylor LeMelle & Michael K. Wilson).  Open 11am-4pm.

The Pelican Bay (food)

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant (food)

Praline Connection (French Quarter)

Mr. Apple (French Quarter)

Victory Bar (downtown)


The Half Shell (food)

Neyow’s Creole Cafe (food)

JuJu Bag (food)

Willie Mae’s (food)

Organizations doing good work in New Orleans.  Donate today. 


Women with  a Vision


Birthmark Doulas 


Start the Adventure in Reading 

Seasons Center 

Wilcox Academy 

Know other businesses or organizations to add to this list? Drop their info in the comment section.

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