By Kristina P.

I’m still learning Phoenix, AZ seeing that I have only been here for a little over a year.


I rely on and my GPS more than ever, when I’m searching for a specific location or trying to figure out who may have a sale item available. When I’m specifically searching for a business, deal, event or activity that appeals to the Black community, I use the Black Trade Lines app. It is user-friendly and streamlines my search to locate African-centric entities. I really like how it uses a combination of voice activation and GPS to present Black-owned entities that are near my current location. 



Brother Rakim of Black Trade Lines shared how the site was founded in 2012 by like-minded individuals. He spoke proudly about the inception consisting of sixteen collective founders. I asked him what he felt was the most powerful of the site and app and what he felt made them differ from other sites that promote businesses. He replied, “We are more of a movement, than a business operation.” These are definitely true words. is a website and application that Marcus Garvey and Malcolm X would be proud of. Garvey stated, “Our success educationally, industrially and politically is based upon the protection of a nation founded by ourselves.” Black Trade Lines is more than a directory of Black businesses; it’s a coalition of individuals who share common beliefs and values, while providing solutions for the community. Malcolm X proclaimed, “A race of people is like an individual man; until it uses its own talent, takes pride in its own history, expresses its own culture, affirms its own selfhood, it can never fulfill itself.” Both Garvey and Malcolm X were self-made men who wanted the Black community to be aware of their power to be self-sufficient by creating their own wealth with investments into self and their communities. Black Trade Lines is the reality of their vision.


Black Trade Lines is available for download on iPhone and Android devices.

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