From Hair to Clothing, Atlanta’s Black Teen-Run Businesses Make an Impact

  |  Topic: Career, How to?, Race/Ethnicity, VOX Media Cafe
By Chasity Starks and Gabby Whitaker, VOX Media Cafe reporters
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Black teenagers are often seen on Instagram fighting, selling drugs and doing everything but creating a future for themselves. They are the ones that usually get all the attention and this makes it look like black teens are ruining the future for the rest of the community. However, there are teenagers who are setting positive examples who often get overlooked. Turns out, there are Atlanta teens who are starting their own businesses in different industries and making a hell of an impact. Here are some of the black Atlanta teens changing the game selling clothes, hair, jewelry, and motivating others.

Yusef Akoar, 18, started his YAZA clothing line in April. He was inspired to start his business after winning a fashion competition, using original T-shirt and hoodie designs to stand out. In addition to wanting teens to dress differently from their peers, he also wanted them to be true to themselves.

“Look to be a game changer,” he said when asked for advice for other teen CEOs. “Do it with a sense to try and change the world. Do it as if you’re trying to impact somebody.”

Another teen who is using Black Girl Magic to make an impact is 16-year old Edithe Rose. Rose is the founder the blog Empower Me, a website using positive affirmations and imagery to motivate and support black women and girls, to counter negative depictions of them. Rose admits it hasn’t been easy starting her blog, but she is determined to keep inspiring her fellow teens.

“Find what you’re passionate about and stay true to it,” she advises other teen entrepreneurs. “Keep moving forward, no matter the struggle.”

The future of Atlanta relies on the young people who are yearning to make a change. How black teens are perceived is also a part of the city’s image. Black teens have represented Atlanta culturally for decades and are now growing in the business community as well.

For more inspiring stories about black teenaged entrepreneurs, watch the video above.

Gabrielle, 14, is an African-American female who attends George School and enjoys playing basketball and using photography for self-expression.

Chasity, 16, is an African-American female who attends Arabia Mountain High School and enjoys photography and spending quality time with her family.

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