Backpack swag: School supplies celebrating black culture

If you're still on the hunt for school supplies, the products on this list are perfect for celebrating black culture in the classroom.

  1. Africa On My Back

  2. Africa On My Back celebrates the past, present and future with a line of Kente-print backpacks which are handmade by artists in Ghana. The company was founded by Houston native Shannette Prince and her two sons, Isaiah and Cameron, after her first trip to Africa. A portion of sales goes toward providing opportunities for black boys to study abroad in Ghana.

  3. Afrobrats

  4. Afrobrats specifically caters to customers who want to express their individuality while standing out from the crowd. Dana Bly created the company following the success of her lifestyle brand Pardon My Fro.

  5. Innovative Supplies

  6. Innovative Supplies features a collection of notebooks and apparel which celebrates modern and historic moments in black culture. The company was founded by Nneka shortly after she walked away from her nine-year career in the US Army as a human resources specialist. The company employs high school students and aims to provide work experience and training. Each purchase helps support job training for fellow high school students.

  7. Blended Designs

  8. Blended Designs specializes in everything from backpacks to apparel. Casey R. Kelley created the company and says her designs "offer positive affirmations of beauty and empowerment." The motto for the company is purchase with a purpose, and a portion of the profits from every purchase helps a first-generation college student obtain a bachelor's degree.

  9. Brown Girls Stationery

  10. Brown Girls Stationery highlights every aspect of being a brown girl with products that range from backpacks to umbrellas and even fidget spinners. The creator of the company, Shaunice, was a teacher for years and says she founded her business in response to a lack of diversity in the stationery world.

  11. Happy Mango

  12. Happy Mango is an eco-friendly store that specializes in products for pregnancy and beyond. The company was founded by author and mom of two Phnewfula Newfala to create a space where all levels of green were welcomed.

  13. MoeMelanin

  14. MoeMelanin believes representation matters, and their school supply business showcases black adults in a variety of career fields to inspire black children to pursue their dreams. The products show not only a variety of careers but also a range of skin tones and hair styles for men, women, boys and girls. Constance Price and her husband Terrence started MoeMelanin "as a way to counteract a lot of the negative stereotypes surrounding black people." The couple says their goal is to provide "more images of us that are unified, positive, and empowering."

We consider this list a work in progress and it will be updated as our viewers inform us of additional companies to include.

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