After a Discogs user asked forum contributors to submit information about Black-owned record shops, the popular music platform is now calling on its supporters to help flesh out a snowballing list of stores and establish a "worldwide directory." The user, Ben Kessler from Washington DC, wants to galvanize those who buy records amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to do so in support of Black record store owners.
"After the murder of George Floyd, it became common to share lists of Black-owned businesses serving particular cities or interests," Kessler told Discogs. "People were already doing their best to stay loyal to their favorite small business — record store or otherwise. And as mainstream America turned its attention to the indiscriminate murder of Black people by the police, I think many people began thinking about how they spent their money differently."
Kessler's initiative began innocuously but has now transformed into a tangible directory, which people can access and enter Black-owned record shops to support. At the time of this article's publishing, there are 32 shops in the list.
"To the extent anyone was in a position to do the same — that is fortunate enough to still be buying records during a global pandemic — I thought it made the most sense to stand in solidarity with Black record store owners in this small way," he continued. "Nobody should expect something in return for his or her support of what is right, but if someone was going to buy a record anyway, wouldn’t it make the most sense to buy it from someone who is already competing on the wrong end of an uneven playing field?”
You can access the directory and add any Black-owned businesses here.