How many Black owned restaurants can you dine at, in a month? The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge asks Bostonians to make a visit to four, in celebration of Black History Month. The event is now in its third year and this iteration will highlight more restaurants than ever before– close to 70. The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge is a unique way to celebrate February and it’s here to stay.
The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge was launched in 2018 by Massachusetts State Representative Chynah Tyler. As Tyler told Boston.com, “The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge was created three years ago to become a solution to the financial insecurities faced by many Black-owned restaurants in Boston.” That noble beginning has grown quickly, into a citywide celebration of culture and cuisine. More importantly, the event is helping to introduce the radical notion to people that Black restaurants happen to be open all year, not just in February.
As Tyler explained, “The challenge has grown to become a free promotional tool for Black restaurants to promote themselves to different communities… More than half of Black-owned restaurants fail within the first year, and I want this challenge to be one of the causes that changes that.” In the face of those stats, there is a clear need to be intentional about supporting Black restaurants. In Boston the boost is certainly needed– the medium net worth of Black households there was $8 as of 2017. With a more focused effort on the part of Black (and other) consumers to support these restaurants, however, things will begin to change.
The Boston Black Restaurant Challenge is an exciting approach to not only acknowledge Black History Month but also, create a buzz for Black owned restaurants. Black consumers, especially, must be careful to make sure that the celebration goes well beyond February and into a lifestyle.