B.LA.C.K. founder Kim Greene is teaching history through her clothing brand

Kim Greene, founder of the Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps brand, was present at the Essence Festival
B.LA.C.K. founder Kim Greene is teaching history through her clothing brand
B.L.A.C.K. clothing

The Essence Festival of Culture is a weekend-long celebration dedicated to Black people. The brand Bases Loaded Authentic Clothing and Kaps (B.L.A.C.K.) was a vendor at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, which is where the festival was being held.

Kim Greene, the founder of B.L.A.C.K. spoke with rolling out about the Essence Festival and her clothing brand.

How was your experience at the Essence Festival?

It’s awesome to be a part of something that’s so supportive of Black people. Being a Black business and having an opportunity to be part of something like this was amazing, and it was a great experience.

What is your clothing brand about?

We work actually as an educational partnership with the Negro League Baseball Museum, the Buffalo Museum, and the Tuskegee Airmen Association. All of the apparel is licensed, and we’re making sure that not only do people know what they’re wearing, but also understand what they’re supporting, which is why we were excited to be a part of this. Essence is the epitome of Black business and Black economic success. We’re trying to raise awareness of our history, and let people know where we were and where we are so that we can all push each other to where we need to be.

Why is it important to support Black businesses?

If we don’t support each other, nobody else will. In Tulsa with Black Wall Street, we were very self-sufficient, and White people decided they didn’t want to deal with us, and we were cool with that. Then they saw us becoming successful, and they tore it down. It was the same thing with the Negro League. People don’t recognize the Negro League itself was an enterprise and a business. There were also several businesses that tethered themselves to the Negro League such as ticket takers, hotels, and restaurants. When White people realized how much money was going into the league, they wanted the talent. The talent left, and the businesses went under, and it’s a cycle that continues whether it’s violently or it’s just a little bit more undercover. If we support each other and our own businesses and teach about creating our own businesses, there isn’t any way that that can continue to happen. We can work toward breaking that cycle.

How does it feel seeing more Black athletes playing baseball?

I think it’s impressive and it’s something that should be encouraged because [athletes] have the most longevity in baseball than any other sport. No matter what sport we’re in, we’re going to succeed, and we’re going to overachieve. We really started to find our success in baseball. We went away from it for several different reasons, but it’s good to able to see how it’s being encouraged that we get back into that.

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