The state of Minnesota, where Minneapolis is located, has the highest percentage of refugees per inhabitant in the whole country, which notably includes a large Somali population. Since the killing of George Floyd on May 25 by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, protests have erupted all over the city which has sparked global outrage at police brutality and have led to mass protests in solidarity across the world.
Many Somali businesses in the city have been negatively affected by these protests. Mama Safia’s kitchen, Quruxlow Restaurant, The Somali Museum of Minnesota and Cedar Child Care Inc are amongst the Somali owned institutions that were heavily damaged and looted. Two of these businesses, Mama Safia’s kitchen and Cedar Child Care Inc, are established by Somali women.
Despite this economic setback, the Somali community is still showing their solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by actively participating in the protests, donating medical supplies and safety gear, and community policing to stop people from looting establishments.
Due to the visible participation of Somali women in Minnesota in these historic protests, many Somalis have become more aware of police brutality in the American context and how it affects the Somali community too.
The dissemination of images in real-time on social media has allowed Somalis across the globe insight into the realities of their countrymen in the United States and has also highlighted the significant role that Somali women continue to play in amplifying issues concerning human rights and injustices.
If you want to help some of the Somali owned businesses mentioned in this article, please donate to the respective crowdfunding initiatives that have been set up to help them recover.
[Photo credit: Unknown]