Black-owned business hit by looters; owner remains optimistic

In the Queen Village neighborhood, the aftermath of the unrest is still evident.

“I’ve been in business a little over 40 years. I’ve been in this location for 32 years on 4th street,” said Larnell Baldwin, owner of Baldwin Leather and Fabric in Philadelphia

He continued, “I immediately came to the front and looked and by that time they were grabbing the stuff and in and out and running down the street.”

His windows were smashed in, and a majority of other merchandise was taken. He says that he was confused and hurt being one of the only black-owned businesses and also being one of the only victims of looting.

Even so, he did not get angry at these actions because he was too busy being overwhelmed by the immediate support of his community.

“I had so many people in the community come to ask did I need any help,” said Baldwin. “Some of the merchants that were next door were able to come bring boards, and neighbors around the corner brought their drills and nails and screws and we got it done.”

Baldwin’s student designer also wanted to help out in a different way, so they posted a GoFundMe page.

“She said there must be something that I can do, we can maybe help out with the window or whatever and the next thing I know there were all these people donating and wanting to help. It's just been overwhelming,” Baldwin said.

Baldwin has experienced a range of emotions in the last two, but he says it has reminded him of something powerful.

“It lets me know that there are a lot of good people in this world…..more good than bad,” he said.

Even with the damages that Baldwin faced, he left with a message of optimism.

“Sometimes it takes drastic measures to make a change, and unfortunately, things had to happen the way they did. But I’m very optimistic that there will be a change that comes out of this and for the good,” he said.

Thank you for the words that so many need to hear — for goodness sake.


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