FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- In honor of Juneteenth, local black businesses in Fayetteville held their first annual "Operation Buy Black" job expo on Friday afternoon.
During a time of civil unrest and a call for equality, several black entrepreneurs used this expo to elevate black men and women looking to start their own business.
Zay Williams, the manager of Me Time Day Spa, says hundreds of people made their way through Cliffdale Plaza to show support.
"It's amazing. This has been such a huge turn-out," Williams said.
Black-owned retails shops, food trucks, and start-up businesses were all spread out across the plaza parking lot.
Chasity Morjn is the owner of Seaux Waisted, a business that sells different kinds of beads. She says this expo on this important holiday is all about giving back to the black community.
"We keep our money in our own community, and we can build within our community, instead of having to outsource everything that we do," Morjn said.
From old to young, there were business owners of all ages, including 13-year-old Raniya Parker.
Parker just started up her business about a month ago, selling lip gloss, fanny packs, and other accessories.
"Young people, starting businesses, instead of being grown and things... I just want to make money - a moneymaker," Parker added.
Every business was feeling the love on a day where they're each celebrating freedom.
"We are and that we do have one another. That it is important that we remember that we keep this sense of community afterwards," Kashia Knight, owner of Mutha's Gems said.
Daphne Fuller owns Therapeutic Solutions & Wellness in Downtown Fayetteville. She hopes her business can help break down the stigmas of mental health in her community.
"I really feel like we're under-represented and there's not enough of us," Fuller said.
Everyone reflecting on the progress made in the country, but also looking forward to seeing more economic opportunity and representation in the future.
"Hopefully, people see it and it continues to build, build, but not just here. I want to see this worldwide," Fuller said.
Operation Buy Black: Successful Fayetteville job expo highlights black businesses on Juneteenth
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