NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The first Black Wall Street in New Haven was hosted on Saturday.

Over 25 black-owned businesses were featured, selling various products such as arts, books, clothing, consulting, cosmetics and skin care, food, drink, jewelry, wellness products, and more.

The event is organized by New Haven’s arts, culture, and tourism department in partnership with a music production and entertainment company called Breed Entertainment. The city says 28 black-owned businesses have opened storefronts in New Haven since January 2021. 

Saturday was a chance for people to meet those owners and support businesses of all kinds. 

“I make pins, prints, stickers, and hopefully soon, books, children’s books about positive and powerful people of color, specifically black folks because I feel like there’s not enough positive representation of us out in the world,” said Alana Ladson, owner of Alanda Ladson art.

Black Wall Street is in reference to the Greenwood district in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 20th century. Black-owned barbershops, restaurants, and stores thrived until a white mob rioted and burned down streets, killing 36 people in 1921. 

New Haven’s event today was part of the city’s effort to advance inclusive economic growth and to provide equitable arts programming and opportunities for all.

“The more community support, the more we can get the black dollar back into the community because we need to have black stores, black corner stores…this is going to open the door up for that,” said Mark Johnson from New Haven who attended the event. 

“I loved the event because this is diverse, it brings out black businesses and also brings more revenue to New Haven!” said Latasha McClain, a New Haven resident who also attended the festival. 

The event was held from noon to 6 pm at the Temple Plaza.