Celebrating MLK Day & supporting Black-owned businesses in Tucson

January 16, 2023
By Da'Lice Shepard
By Da'Lice Shepard

Today is MLK Day and though there is rain forecasted for most of the day, the celebration here in Tucson goes on.

This holiday is a national day of service and with that mindset, join us in relishing in a day focused on celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Black community in and around Tucson.

Photo courtesy of On The Fly Kitchen & Prep & Pastry on Instagram
Photo courtesy of On The Fly Kitchen & Prep & Pastry on Instagram
MLK Day March and Celebration

The African American Museum of Southern Arizona’s “Together We Can Be THE Dream” celebration march (began this morning and is happening until 2 p.m.) stretched from ML King Jr. Way to Reid Park. The event is a day of music, laughter, dancing, and great food.

This organization has been busy this month, just a few days ago they opened the museum doors to the public. This museum is meant to serve the Tucson community with the intention to be a “movement, not a museum.” Make a plan to visit today or very soon and learn more about Black history and the importance of holidays like today.

The African American Museum of Southern Arizona is located at 4511 N. Campbell Ave. #255. For more information, visit aamsaz.org and follow AAMSAZ on Instagram

Shop black today (and every day)

One of my best friends, Ashley LaRussa is the creator and visionary behind what is, in my opinion, the most forward-thinking and radical platform on the web today: Blax Friday. This platform — including an extremely active Instagram account, website, and app — is a community-driven tool that is tirelessly working to empower and uplift the Black businesses in Tucson.

You no longer have to wonder where to find locally produced, crafted, and engineered Black products, this site is literally the Black version of google for Southern Arizona. In February, during Black History Month, we’ll be sharing a guide to Black-owned restaurants, bars, and more here in Tucson, but in the meantime, I went to Blax Friday and made a list of some places to spend your money today.

On The Fly Kitchen

Pop-up restaurant

If you are planning a party and Southern food is on the menu, look no further, this is the spot for you. You can also find them doing pop-up dinner events all over. The next one is coming up later this week at Prep & Pastry — Friday, January, 20 and Saturday, January 21 from 6 – 9 p.m. at 2660 N. Campbell Ave.

For more information, follow On The Fly Kitchen on Instagram

Song & Sugar Sweets

Online Store

Did you say dessert? Well, when it comes to the confection treats, this place not only comes correct, but they come with sustainability in mind. All desserts from this local bakery are thoughtfully made with fair-trade ingredients. Something about that makes this place just that much sweeter.

For more information, follow Song & Sugar Sweets on Instagram

Harambe Cafe & Social Club

6464 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #150

I am always looking for a place to connect with others who enjoy cannabis and there is nowhere else that feels as inviting and safe as Harambe Cafe. Bring your own stash, invite your friends, and enjoy this incredible space while you float high.

For more information, visit harambecafe.com and follow Harambe Cafe on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Harambe Cafe & Social Club on Facebook
Photo courtesy of Harambe Cafe & Social Club on Facebook

Southwest Black Ranchers

This ranch is the first Black-owned protein ranch in Arizona, and they are making creative and effective changes in the agricultural industry. Committed to combating food shortages and creating food system independence, this ranch is a wonderful example of why you should shop Black. So, donate to their non-profit, make a plan to visit the ranch, and sign up to purchase direct from their farm to enjoy the fruits of their labor at your home table.

For more information, visit southwestblackranchers.com and follow Southwest Black Ranchers on Instagram

Ignis Clothing

Online Store

Join this young creator in his mission to dismantle perfectionism with creative street apparel. Literally, everyone will ask about your new ‘fit, so stop the wait and head to their online shop today.

For more information, visit ignisclothing.com and follow Ignis Clothing on Instagram


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Lilith and Daughters

Online Store
I am not sure about you, but today I plan to treat myself. I am crazy for jewelry and this place specializes in natural gemstone pieces. They are incredibly knowledgeable about the unique stones they use and the story of this three generations family business makes me smile. I have my eyes on a particular pair of hoops from this company, I bet you will find something you can’t live without too.

For more information, follow Lilith and Daughters on Instagram.

Whatever you do today, take a moment to think about and express gratitude for the sacrifices made by many leaders and visionaries like Dr. King. Also, take a moment to consider how you can make more of a positive financial impact on the Black businesses in our community.

They are here and easy to find thanks to the incredible daily work from Blax Friday.

For more information, visit  blaxfriday.com and follow Blax Friday on Instagram.

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Article By

Da’Lice Shepard is Tucson’s biggest fan. With a background in Marketing, PR, and event production, Da’Lice has used her skills to highlight iconic Tucson destinations to locals and visitors for the past 13+ years. With an authentic love and passion...

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