What better time than Black History Month to pay respect to not only our past, but also our present? So much of the American fabric is made of Black history. Even just in Connecticut, countless contributions have been made by the Black community, and the delightful diversity makes up the state we know and love today. This Black History Month, be sure to show some love to the Black-owned businesses that contribute to our state’s current culture; here are a few options to explore.The Art Bar
470 Lewis Ave, Meriden.
New to Meriden this past fall, The Art Bar is a Black-owned family business that specializes in curating paint party fun for all ages regardless of artistic ability. Located in the Meriden Mall, this is a great place to let creativity flow and unwind in a bright, comfy setting. Whether you organize a guided paint party or pop in for a walk-in session, The Art Bar promises high-quality materials and skilled staff to help you design the best artistic creation possible. Nutmeg Kettlecorn
2 Chapel St., Suite 6,
Originating in 2014 when the minds behind Nutmeg Kettlecorn would set up and break down their tent each weekend at the North Haven Flea Market, what was once a pop-up kettle corn stand has grown. Creating kettle corn for any occasion, lovers of Nutmeg Kettlecorn are welcome to peruse their sweet selection in the Wallingford storefront location, pick-up an order, or place an order online to enjoy the hand-mixed blends. For small-batch, hand-stirred, gourmet-flavored kettle corn, and other assorted treats, head to Nutmeg Kettlecorn.AmericanSoulKitchen & Bar
164 Scott St, Meriden.
Whether you’re looking for a night cap or for your next brunch spot, AmericanSoul Kitchen & Bar is a hidden gem for any and all occasions. The iconic comfort food combined with a chic bar and lounge area serve as a warm welcome for all visitors who pass through the doors. Be sure to enjoy the Bottomless Mimosas during the brunch hours, and don’t skip the grits– they are melt-in-your-mouth perfection. To support a local Black-owned business in East Meriden and enjoy amazing soul food fusions, head over to AmericanSoul Kitchen & Bar.Pamela RooseSpecialty HandKnits & Yarn
88 Court St., Middletown.
For high-quality yarns from name-brand yarn companies for both knitting and crochet, head over to Pamela Roose. From knitting needles, crochet hooks, to patterns and books, this Black-owned business is a stitcher’s dream come true. The yarns in stock include cotton, wool, alpaca, linen, and many more; if you have a specific project in mind or simply want to be inspired, Pamela Roose is the place to be.
This Black History Month, try to enjoy the history in the making all around you. Experience Black culture, shop local, and amplify the voices of those who have stories to share.
Francesca Fontánez is a Meriden-based journalist, educator, and creative. Email Francesca at email@example.com with tips on what you want to read about next, or just to say hi!