Several Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia receive racist, threatening emails

Gray Hall Image
ByGray Hall via WPVI logo
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
EMBED <>More Videos

At least three black-owned businesses in Philadelphia received racist messages that threatened the owners and employees.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- At least three Black-owned businesses in Philadelphia received racist messages that threatened the owners and employees.

The sender uses racial slurs and described African-Americans as "monkeys." The person also threatened to burn down businesses and sexually assault employees.

Shanti Mayers, owner of The Sable Collective, was horrified when she got the email Tuesday night.

"Threatened to kill and rape my staff - just things I actually don't want to share that, to be quite honest when I read it, my heart dropped," said Mayers.

RELATED: Popular Germantown coffee and bookstore Uncle Bobbie's targeted by criminals twice in one week

Mayers says she's aware of other Black-owned businesses that received the same email.

Harriets Bookshop is one of them. Owner Jeannine Cook says she opened the store to honor abolitionist, Harriet Tubman, and to celebrate female artists and activist. She was not available for comment on Wednesday.

Mayers says the note is frightening and it shows racism is still a problem.

"Black people have lost their lives, their businesses, properties, families, churches, entire communities have been destroyed because of these notions of superiority and power and that really disheartened me," she said.

The owners of Stripp'd Juice also received the same malicious letter. The owner's wife says the email is inflammatory, vile and disgusting.

Mayers says while the email is disheartening, she's not letting the hate stop her from doing business in a community she loves.

"I want to say thank you to the people that read, that were enraged for me and texted me, and called, and just looked for ways to show their support," said Mayers.

Back in July, Uncle Bobbie's, another Black-owned bookstore and cafe, was vandalized.

Action News reached out to the Philadelphia Police Department about the recent racist and threatening emails.

Officers are urging any business who has received one to file a police report.