Photo Credit: Post 21
Post 21: Downtown Disneyland's First Black-Owned Marketplace
Opened in 2020, Post 21 a Black-owned marketplace, founded by a mother-daughter duo Juana Williams and Blair Paysinger. It was originally online only, but recently opened a kiosk in Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California.
The marketplace is said to be Disney’s first Black-owned operating partner.
“Disney found our website and contacted us by email. They told us they were interested in us, and would we be willing to go through the process that could take as long as a year. We were kind of in shock and went through the motions to make it happen, but it didn’t really sink in until opening day, Black Friday 2021,” Blair Paysinger told Travel Noire.
The company’s name honors Tulsa’s Greenwood District, one of the United States’ most prosperous Black communities until May 31, 1921, when 35 city blocks were set on fire, killing 300 people and injuring 800.
“We see today, and every day since May 31, 1921, as Post 1921. Standing on the shoulders of those who have come before us, we are ready to do what we have traditionally done – in a new and exciting way,” she said.
Paysinger added that she and her mother were inspired by her grandfather to open Post 21.
“He owned several businesses in his community and provided for his family. The tradition of building community was instilled in me, and I must pass that to my children. It’s my turn to take that model to another level and execute what that means for me.”
Having a place to find things that resonated with her as a Black person was also another reason to open Post 21.
“I always thought it should be easier to shop Black. I wanted to shop where I knew I was supporting Black businesses and where I could consistently find things I wanted. So that’s what we decided to build. No blind searches for Black-owned businesses. No searching through pages and pages of different websites. If you want a gift for yourself or a loved one and want to shop Black, go to Post 21 and you are sure to find several things to choose from. It’s a place to simply shop Black.”