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Posted under: Social Justice News

Philly Community Helps Black Business Owner Get Back On Her Feet After Store Is Destroyed By Looters

"We as Black people really need to reunite and come together. Destroying and tearing down our own people is not the answer," said Jameelah Scurry, a boutique owner in Philadelphia.


A Philadelphia boutique owner was devastated after her store was destroyed by looters, according to ABC-6. The city's unrest and protests after the shooting death of Walter Wallace, Jr. lead to the destruction of Jameelah Scurry's atelier, La'vanter Boutique. However, community members refused to stand by and watch the young woman's dream go up in flames.

The Peirce College graduate launched a GoFundMe fundraiser on Oct. 27. She wrote about her struggles as a young entrepreneur and is seeking $15,000 to help cover the cost of restoring her storefront to its original condition.


"I quit my job and decided to invest in my dreams and community. I emptied my savings and checking account. Maxed out credit cards and sold my house to open my business," Scurry penned. 

She had just celebrated the boutique's second anniversary before it was damaged by looters. On the fundraising site, Scurry described another unfortunate incident that occurred since going into business. 

"While we were lucky enough to survive covid and a previous burglary (08-27-2020), which set us back significantly. On 10-27-20, we were again burglarized and cleaned out. We are now in danger of losing everything we worked so hard for. Anything would help," she continued.

A security camera inside the boutique captured numerous looters stealing her sought-after merchandise. The perpetrators scrambled through the small space plundering nearly everything in sight. 



The community rallied behind the young business owner in a show of solidarity with a promise to help Scurry recover from the loss and damage to her place of business. 

Although both situations took a mental toll on Scurry, she said members of the community have given her hope. 

"It's been a real blessing," she told ABC-6. "I appreciate everybody that reached out to even give us encouraging words and that are praying for us."

"We as Black people really need to reunite and come together," she said. "Destroying and tearing down our own people is not the answer," she added. 



So far, Scurry has amassed a two-day total of almost $25,000 in donations to rebuild the boutique. 

Scurry's business was damaged after protests sparked in the city during the aftermath surrounding the death of Wallace, a 27-year-old man who was shot and killed by Philadelphia police, as Blavity previously reported.

Wallace, who suffered from mental health issues, was shot to death as his mother and other bystanders pleaded with officers to help the dedicated father. Instead of the two police officers assisting the distressed man, they opened fire, killing him. 

As looters, fires and other destruction of property consume the city, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney issued a mandatory curfew on Wednesday in an effort to thwart further destruction of the city, according to local news outlet CBS-3. After two nights of protests, thousands of marchers and some officers being injured, the mayor is attempting to regain some semblance of order inside city limits. 

Mayor Kenney has also called on the National Guard to assist with bringing order back to Philadelphia. They are expected to arrive over the weekend. 

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Keka Araújo is Detroit's daughter, a cross between Claire Huxtable, Rosie Pérez and Millie Jackson, the Editor in Chief of “Negra With Tumbao” and a published journalist with a penchant for luxe goods. She has been known to shake what her mama gave her, is the hell and high water, an expert salsera and is and forever shall be- unapologetically black.