Black Owned Maine was born during the policy brutality uprisings of 2020. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Rose Barboza wanted to find a way for people to protest inside their homes. The Black Owned Maine business directory was born. She called upon her long-time friend Genius Black to help promote this project, which immediately went viral.
Our goals include rebranding Maine as a warm, inviting home to black entrepreneurs, land and home owners, tourists, and cultural influencers.
Black Owned Maine understands how deeply racism is embedded into economic practices and recognizes how that harms Black communities. We work to disrupt those patterns of racism in order to open greater stability, opportunities, and growth for Black people. Black businesses play an important role in providing essential, culturally relevant services and goods, and supporting Black-owned businesses also help members of our community have greater freedom and autonomy in their own lives.
Black Business Directory
Black Business Pledge
Collective Grassroots Education
Black Owned Maine is increasing awareness of institutional racism throughout Maine, and offering solutions to counteract it. Often innocuous-sounding language, policies, and laws continue to perpetuate racism in Maine – but go unchecked due to a false sense that a small Black population doesn’t matter. BOM is doing this work through social media, speaking engagements, and consultations.
The archetypical idea of a hearth encompasses BOM’s central mission of support. The warm, nurturing space, in front of a fire and hearth, is where family, friends, and partners meet to rest, recharge, and connect. BOM exists to create that space and consideration for black people in Maine. This space is nurturing for Black people but also allows them to explore and create as they see fit. And we protect this space as if it’s new and growing because it is. Black Mainers and their communities are often far apart, geographically – lacking a sense of cultural cohesion across the state. Our goals include connecting disparate communities of Black Mainers, creating connection and access to resources. These connections, and nurturing spaces, support Black Mainer’s lives, livelihoods, and passions.
Family Relief Program