Restaurants across the city are offering specials this week to boost Black business.
As Chicago is considering making Juneteenth an official city holiday, its Black-owned restaurants continue its efforts to celebrate the day and boost entrepreneurship. One such campaign emerged last year from Black People Eats, an Instagram account that actively promotes Black-owned businesses in Chicago and cities like Atlanta.
Juneteenth commemorates the end of Black enslavement that took place two weeks after the Civil War’s end on June 19, 1865. The city of Chicago’s calendar lists the holiday, but its workers do not get the day off. The City Council could make the holiday official at its June meeting.
Regardless of what elected officials may do, Chicago’s residents have embraced the holiday more in recent years. And that extends to businesses. For two days, from Friday, June 18 to Saturday, June 19, more than 130 Black-owned restaurants in Chicago and Atlanta will celebrate by offering specials for $6.19 or $16.19. Another component is a fundraising campaign via GoFundMe. Black Chicago Eats founder Jeremy Joyce has set up a grant program making money available for restaurant owners who need funds for their operations. This year, Joyce wants to raise $250,00 to give 10 restaurants $25,000 each.