According to LaNedra Gaines, a 21-year-old elementary education major from Fort Lauderdale, quality African art and clothing can be hard to find in Tallahassee.
“The only places I am able to find good black art is on the set on Fridays or on the side of the road being sold by private vendors,” Gaines said.
However, there are adequate Web sites made available and are affordably priced for students.
Will Vason, a 20-year-old sophomore marketing major from Jacksonville said, “I appreciate black art, although I have never bought any, but that does not mean that I will not.”
On July 3, 1999, LiberationGifts.com was founded by Anthony George. It offers a variety of quality African art and clothing.
George is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics with an emphasis on Black History and Culture.
He says he has always been fascinated with black history and has continually sought ways to make the black experience in Africa and the United States more widely known.
He launched the Web site to increase awareness of African Americans’ historical contributions and accomplishments.
The site allows the buyer to pick from a variety of art and categories including, black leaders, Egyptian, Spiritual, and several more.
The clothing line is sold exclusively on the Web site and includes: denim shirts, golf shirts, sweatshirts and t-shirts.
One of the concerns of online shoppers is security.
Gaines said, “If it is a Web site I trust, then I would have no problem with purchasing from the Web.”
George said he knows that it is difficult selling items over the Internet within the Black community.
“I think it’s the same thing as going in a restaurant and using your credit card, they could steal your identity there also,” he said.
“I would encourage people not to be afraid to purchase things online. That is where the future is headed and we should follow also,” George said.
The company has a logo that appears on all the clothing. The Liberation logo was designed to symbolize the black struggle for freedom.
The balled fist represents the fight for economic freedom and prosperity.
The broken chain reflects the success Black’s have had obtaining physical and educational freedom.
The shackles are a depiction of all attempts to inhibit our advancement.
Liberation clothing emphasizes substance over appearance and is designed to make clientele feel good about the fact that they have purchased an item from a black-owned business.
Danjuma Jones, a 20-year-old Business Administration major from Atlanta, stresses the importance of Black owned businesses.
“Instead of spending our money elsewhere, we can spend it in our own communities,” Jones said.
George’s advice to students is, “To be in control of your own destiny.”
All African art and clothing can be acquired by shopping at www.liberationgifts.com.