Source: Fly Nerd; One Gotta Go

“Can you imagine, I refrained from putting black-owned in my bio for years in fear of losing out on potential white customers?”

DeShanta Hairston, the owner of a bookstore in Virginia tweeted that statement recently, before stating that she is proud to run a black-owned business and now she’s shouting it from the mountaintops. In a Facebook post, she went on to say that until recently she’s feared putting the words “black-owned” in her bio because it could drive off white customers, they could see that and feel she is “too black” and she’d be out of business.

In the U.S., only 1% of black business owners obtain loans in their first year, compared to 7% of white business owners, according to Brookings. The same article also states that Black people represent about 13% of the total population of the U.S. but only about 4.3% of the nation’s business owners. To make things worse, the pandemic due to the novel coronavirus has shut down about 96% of them (compared to 78% of white-owned business), says MarketWatch.

This is not a history lesson or a stats class — I’m just a nerd who gets to write about comic books for a living. For ways to help make genuine changes in the U.S. start with these resources.

For anyone looking to show your support for black-owned, geek-infused businesses and creators, check out the 10 we’ve highlighted below.

Books and Crannies | Shop Here

Hairston runs Books and Crannies, which is arguably the best name I’ve ever heard for a bookshop. While the physical store is in Virginia, Hairston also sells plenty of page-turners online. For more black-owned bookshops you can head to African American Literature Book Club’s website, where they have a list of 124 indie stores.

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse | Shop Here

Amalgam “is a celebration of geek culture,” says its website. In northern Philadelphia, the comic shop is the first black woman-owned business of its kind. It sells comics, figures, games, apparel, and if you head to the physical store you can even pick up some baked goods and Philly Fair Trade coffee. The online store has some exclusive apparel, killer reads, and more.

Source: Mind’s Eye Comics

Mind’s Eye Comics | Shop Here

This is the only black-owned comic shop in the entire state of Minnesota — where George Floyd was murdered and protests began. For fans of everything nerdy who don’t live in the midwest, the store offers DC Essentials figures in its online store.

Black Sun Comics | Shop Here

Those looking for something to read should check out this graphic novel series about a group of unlikely heroes in the fantasy world of Alkebulan who must work together to defeat an invading alien armada. Fans can find five chapters online for sale, along with a ton of free tutorials on how to write your own comics.

Source: Tony Medina, Stacey Robinson, John Jennings

I am Alfonso Jones | Buy it Here

The protagonist of this graphic novel, Alfonso Jones, is just a normal kid worrying about normal kid things. He wants to tell the girl he likes how he feels and he’s excited about performing in the upcoming hip-hop rendition of Hamlet.

Jones is killed by an off-duty police officer when he’s out buying his first suit. He wakes up in the afterlife, where others who have died from police brutality teach him what he needs to know. At the same time, his family still living grieves and fights for justice.

Source: Story Mode Press

Heroic Journey: Deathmarch | Buy it Here

Further out of this world, this comic series a traveling sellsword named Isca who challenges a vile ruler and makes an unlikely ally in the God of Death. Find it here for only $2!

Radical Dreams Pins | Shop Here

Every nerd needs a good pin collection, it’s just part of the contract we sign when we watch our first sci-fi show as a kid.

Radical Dreams brings important messages straight to your lapel. It has a variety of items, not limited to keychains, necklaces, pin sets, and patches. Some of the pins feature iconic characters from your childhood, such as Penny Proud, Gerald Johanssen, and Susie Carmichael.

Fly Nerd Apparel | Shop Here

“Awkward confidence. Might feel weird. Believe in yourself anyway.” is written on one of the available tops on Fly Nerd’s website. Fans of just about anything can get behind the brand’s message of embracing your weirdness and showing off your style.

Nerd Square | Shop Here

Nerd Square embraces the same message and brings fans of education something to add to their closet. Tees and sweatshirts say things such as “grades don’t measure intelligence” and “young, educated, & blessed.”

One Gotta Go | Buy it Here

With the digital version of this card game, friends and families can get debate at any time of the day, anywhere. You don’t have to be in the same room as someone to play. It’s a great option for making your video chats more like Thanksgiving with debates.

Players look at the list of four items on a card and pick one that they think should be removed — but not everyone will always agree.

What black-owned nerdy companies do you love? Let us know in the comments!