The online website Buy Black NB has grown by leaps and bounds over the past three years. Now the site's founder is celebrating its success by holding the Black Excellence Gala at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on May 6 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Buy Black NB founder Justina Perry joined Townsquare Sunday this week to discuss the online directory of Black and minority-owned businesses and the upcoming gala, which is a fundraising event for her non-profit.

"Buy Black NB started as an online platform, raising awareness about local Black-owned businesses throughout the SouthCoast," Perry said. "Our mission is to empower the local black business community."

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Perry said that since that time, the online platform has grown and Buy Black NB has put together several public events at places like the Rotch-Jones Duff House and AHA Night in Downtown New Bedford, attracting hundreds of people. Perry believes what Buy Black NB has accomplished in its first three years is worthy of celebration.

Perry said up until now, Buy Black NB has done very little fundraising. She said proceeds from the May 6 gala will cover the non-profit's operating expenses and keep it operating year-round as a free public resource.

VIP tickets have already sold out, but general admission tickets are still available at $100 apiece at An online auction is now underway with information also available on the website.

Perry said the gala is a formal event and will feature live music, dancing, food and lots of networking. There will also be a short speaking program, and folks who have helped in the mission of Buy Black NB will be recognized.

As for the past three years, Perry said it's been a learning experience.

"I've learned so much about non-profits, community organizing and starting my own business," she said. "I'm pretty happy with the way it's unfolded and how it continues to inspire me, and meet so many new people."

The complete interview with Buy Black NB founder Justina Perry can be heard here:

Townsquare Sunday is a weekly public affairs program heard Sundays at 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. on WBSM.

The program highlights individuals and organizations seeking to make Greater New Bedford a better place to live and work.

If you would like your organization featured on Townsquare Sunday, please email the host at

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