Market pops up at CAAM to celebrate Black farmers and vendors

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Kara Still (left) and Carmen Dianne (right) founded Prosperity Market during the pandemic to support Black farmers, food producers, and chefs. Photo by Jerome A Shaw.

Only 2.2% of U.S. employer businesses are black-owned, and they receive less than 2% of the nation's sales. Two-thirds of all black businesses are located in the hardest hit COVID areas, resulting in 41% having to close. Black farmers make up only 1.3% of the 3.4 million total farmers in this nation.

In the shadow of those sobering statistics, Kara Still and Carmen Dianne decided to launch Prosperity Market during the pandemic. The mobile farmers market features Black farmers, food producers, entrepreneurs, artists, florists, and chefs. Dianne describes the many problems the duo encountered as they searched for ways to support Black-owned businesses and "figured out an all-encompassing solution."

They celebrate the end of Black History Month and their two-year anniversary with a pop-up at the California African American Museum.