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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

A market unlike any other

Shopping experience where Black is beautiful
Gabriel Fink
A stall owner at the Black Market sells black pride merchandise on April 13. The market was created to empower the Black community.

In the Twin Cities, there are many markets. Not your usual grocery stores, like Kowalskis or Lunds and Byerlys, but true markets where businesses come together and sell their products. While there are several farmers markets, there is only one Black Market.

The creation of the Black Market can be traced back to the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd. Several Black business owners came together with the goal of supporting each other and the Black community through the difficult time. This resulted in the aptly named “Black Market.” The market was founded in February 2021 by George Shannon, owner of 4Seen media, and DeSeandra “Seanie” Shepherd — however, Seanie became the sole owner in Feb. 2022. The Market is only open on the second Saturday of each month from 2:00–6:00 p.m.

The market itself is one of the most fun shopping experiences in the Twin Cities. There are lots of stalls, and each one is filled with personality. About one third of the stalls are food, and everything smells fantastic, and tastes even better. The other stalls range from clothes, books, art, jewelry, perfume and THC. Excluding the last one, every stall had something interesting enough to check out, and everything was quite reasonably priced.

The wares of the market only touch the surface of what it truly has to offer. The people are what really make the place special. It’s a gathering of Black business owners who have come together to create a unique experience that benefits and promotes their businesses and draws in all sorts of people who would never encounter these businesses under normal circumstances. Every shop owner I talked to was super friendly and vibrant, and every interaction was engaging. I didn’t feel any of the transactional relationships typical with most store employees — every person felt like a new friend who just happened to be selling something I was interested in buying. They were all super open and inviting, and when I asked questions, they were all happy to answer. From this repeated Q&A, I learned that the business owners I talked to came from all sorts of backgrounds and all different walks of life. Amongst others, I met a photographer, a baker/culinary skills teacher, a former member of a TV news station and a young artist.

While a lot of the community at the Black Market is Black, there are no race restrictions. There was not a hint that any of the market goers or stall owners didn’t want me around for any reason, and while fewer in number, there were people of many other races all around the market.

One of the stalls was a really cute little art stand I noticed because the art was really impressive. I was walking past it when the pictures caught my eye, so I turned in and started looking around. The stall was run by a girl who appeared to be a high schooler and an older woman whose name was Dawn. As I got to know them, I learned that Dawn formerly worked in the TV department of Fox10 News, and she gave me some tips on journalism. However, the real surprise was that the artist responsible for all of the art was the girl. I had thought that with the skill of the art it would have had to be made by an adult, but I was mistaken.

The Black Market is a truly unique shopping experience where black businesses are supported and a very special community can be found. If you are looking for good food, friendly company and great products, I cannot recommend the Black Market enough.

The Black Market: ★★★★★

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About the Contributor
Gabriel Fink
Gabriel Fink, Echo Staffer
My name is Gabriel, I’m a junior in highschool, and this is my first year on Echo. When I’m not at school, you can find me out with my dad, surfing the internet, reading at home, laughing with my friends, or eating at one of my favorite restaurants. I like being outside, but I’m an indoorsy guy (which makes no sense, I know) and I love to go out and have a little adventure; Echo seems like the right combination of both!

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