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Black-owned businesses thrive in Yellow Springs

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“Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.”
—Carter G. Woodson

Uplift Yellow Springs, a Facebook page that supports local businesses by posting their upcoming events and specials, recently put out a call for people to name local Black-owned businesses, in honor of Black History Month.

Black-owned businesses have been contributing to the village’s  economy since the 1800s. One of the earliest businessmen in Yellow Springs was formerly enslaved landowner and philanthropist Wheeling Gaunt, at one time thought to be one of Ohio’s wealthiest Black men.

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According to a 2022 News article, “In decades past, a villager could walk through town and encounter a host of businesses owned by Black residents of Yellow Springs.”

“Over the years, I think there have been upwards of 40 businesses,” villager Karen McKee said in the article. McKee, who died in 2022, grew up in the village during the 1960s and 1970s.

Black History Month was originally conceived in 1926 as Negro History Week, during the month of February, by scholar Carter G. Woodson. Negro History Week was eventually expanded to the month-long commemoration of Black History Month in 1976.

One of Woodson’s concerns was economic development in Black communities. “They still have some money, and they have needs to supply. They must begin immediately to pool their earnings and organize industries to participate in supplying social and economic demands,”  Woodson said in reference to the need for Black businesses.

Woodson, who founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History in 1915, established the Negro History Week as a time for study and reflection, a time when the community could came together to learn about the vital, but unacknowledged, contributions of African Americans to society. In his 1933 book “The Miseducation of the Negro,” Woodson wrote that Black people’s achievements were “overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.”

Yellow Springs has seen a steep decline in its African American population,  from around 30% in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, to the current population of less than 12%, but Black businesses continue to thrive in the village.

The following is a list of Black-owned businesses and Black entrepreneurs currently known to be open in Yellow Springs:

• Winburn Janitorial Services: Rug and carpet cleaning.
• Double T Roofing: Specializing in residential roofing, siding, and gutter installation.
• Fox Trot Services:
Mowing, snow removal and residential utility services company.
• Truitt Fitness: Private gym designed for personal training and small groups.
• The Chappelle Shop: Comedy and fashion merchandise retailer.
• YS Toy Company: Toy store featuring toys, books, games, puzzles and gifts.
• “The PHILLIP Show”: TV show and podcast, “amplifying the voice of inspiring people, brands and businesses.”
• From The Planet: Holistic products and services, vegan wellness.
• Hemptation: Handcrafted CBD products.
• The Fyre Inside, LLC: Loose leaf tea blends and handcrafts.
• Maiya Celeste: Multimedia art, tattoos, yoga, tarot readings and astrology.
• The Jael Group: Strategic business and nonprofit planning.
• SUPERCHOW: Soul cuisine food truck.
• Ten Talents Network: Events, exhibitions and marketing.
• Kyoto Perry: Tarot reader and medium.
• YS Scooter: Scooter and e-bike rentals.
• Shelly Blackman: Real estate with the EXP Group. 
• Monarch Wellness Solutions: mental health services.

The News is also, in part, a Black-owned business. Contact with other Yellow Springs businesses and entrepreneurs not mentioned in this list.

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One Response to “Black-owned businesses thrive in Yellow Springs”

  1. Peter Banner says:

    Please include Mr Emmitt Burks, who owned a barbershop and hair dresser on Dayton St. He also served as Village Councilman.

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