There’s something to be said when you catch a vibe from cooking your own food in a setting that’s normally not in your own kitchen. You can find that simple pleasure when barbecuing, campfire cooking, and even sitting down to a Korean bbq meal. But a spot in Los Angeles’ Historic Filipinotown called Dollar Hits is adding its name to that list, by channeling the energy of Filipino street food and letting diners cook it themselves on grills out doors.
Step inside and you’re greeted with a wide array of Filipino street food options. Imagine heaping stacks of meat skewers ranging from traditional pork and chicken barbecue, to other favorites like fish balls, pork and chicken intestines (isaw), chicken feet (adidas), chicken head (helmet), pig ears (walkman), chicken hearts, quail egg (kwek kwek), and more.
After picking your lot to grill, simply step outside to three outdoor grills and cook your choices to taste. As far as dining experiences go in LA, Dollar Hits is quite memorable as there’s not many like it in the city.
With outdoor dining being the norm these days, Dollar Hits should serve as a great choice to add to one’s list of spots to safely eat out at, all while catching the whole Filipino street food vibe that many have yet to experience.
In rather fitting fashion for this cultural melting pot of a recipe, the first time I ate an arepa I was neither in its home, South America, or my home, the U.S., where it’s a regional specialty in places like Miami, FL.
I was in Spain, led by the casual suggestion of a hostel employee who must have thought it’d be funny to send the American to a Venezuelan spot when asked what Spanish restaurants were good in the area (which, hey, it definitely is). Regardless, those golden brown corn cakes, sliced open and brimming with an array of meats, fish, sauces, and cheeses, were a fond highlight of the trip. So, the moment I caught wind of this recipe that could be made in the comfort of my own home, and used the ever convenient Bumble Bee® Tuna as it’s unique star, I knew it was time to give it a go.
Arepas are traditionally made with masarepa, a corn product that’s produced by soaking dried corn, separating their outer lining and seed germ, and then cooking and grounding what’s left over. Thankfully, masarepa can be bought at most Latin markets. Look for P.A.N. Harina De Maiz, it’s widely regarded as the chef’s choice.
To start, mix about two cups of the cornmeal with two and a half cups of warm water and a tablespoon of salt. Knead this into a soft dough, and allow it to rest for five minutes. During this time, heat a cup of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat, and preheat the oven to 350.
Once the dough has sat, split it into four portions, and form them into balls before flattening them into thick, even disks. Then, when the skillet is up to ideal heat, fry each disk until lightly browned on each side. After that, leave them in the oven to keep warm.
Now, bring another skillet to medium-high heat, after adding a teaspoon of vegetable oil (or use the arepa skillet with most of the oil drained, who am I to judge?). Drain, then add, the can of corn and cook for about five minutes or until browned. Next, toss in two pouches of Bumble Bee® Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt Tuna and cook until hot.
Alright. Preparation done.
It’s time for assembly.
Take the warm arepas and slice them width-wise. Place a slice of American cheese and a scoop of the tuna-corn combo on the bottom bun, and then bring the queso into the mix with a healthy sprinkle of cotija cheese. Finally, top with some cilantro and there it is — a delicious arepa in the comfort of your own home.
As with any recipe, feel free to spice this up with additional ingredients. Avocado, mayo-based spreads, and beans are all traditional arepas fillings. But, really, the beauty of the arepa lies in its flexibility.
And if that beauty can be made in under an hour? Count me in.
Macaroni and cheese has long been a favorite comfort food in the United States. Boxed mac dinners, scratch made, it’s all been a tasty pasta dish that we’ve loved to tuck into for dinner, lunch or a quick snack.
As the pandemic has ravaged across the nation, however, data has begun to suggest that mac and cheese has also become a bigger part of our breakfast routine.
Kraft, for example, conducted a survey amongst 1,000 adults and found that over half of them had given their kids mac and cheese for breakfast more often during the pandemic.
Data from Tastewise, an AI platform that analyzes patterns around food on the internet, has also found mentions of mac and cheese for breakfast or brunch climb by 50% over the past year.
Foodbeast has also taken notice of some mac and cheese breakfast items that have popped up in various restaurants. The Southern California chain Breakfast Republic, for example, has a skillet of breakfast mac, topped with eggs and bacon, on their menu.
Other restaurants, like The Row in Nashville, Homeroom in Oakland, and Ritual in Houston, also carry similar items in their list of breakfast offerings, whether it be on their regular menu or as a special.
So, could macaroni and cheese be starting to grow in popularity as a breakfast item? The above definitely suggests otherwise, even if other data indicates that a majority of folks haven’t heard too much of it yet.
Foodbeast has been surveying some of our own audience, and across over 1,400 people asked on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, only about 38% had heard of or tried a breakfast mac and cheese dish before. Additionally, data from Tastewise notes that of over 500,000 restaurants in their set, no more than a few hundred have the item somewhere on their menu.
This means that there’s plenty of room for breakfast mac to catch on, should people desire it. Personally, I wouldn’t mind digging into a few bowls of it with some oozy eggs for breakfast.
Earlier this year, we reported on a KFC x Crocs collab which debuted during New York Fashion week and had fans of both up to their ears in excitement for a potential general release. Well friends, I don’t know how much more you can contain that excitement, but just know that it’ll be for only a little while longer.
That’s because the crispy Crocs Classic Clogs have a release date next week on July 28th on Crocs.com for $59.99. This highly anticipated pair also comes with two removable, chicken-scented, drumstick-shaped Jibbitz charms.
What’s better is that this release is hinged to a good cause, with $3 of every purchase going to the KFC Foundation’s REACH Educational Grant Program, which helps employees at participating KFC locations to further their education through college scholarships.
You know what they say when it comes to fashion, a good statement piece is crucial in one’s wardrobe. Pretty sure a pair of Crocs Classic Clogs looking like a delicious bucket of KFC chicken fulfills that notion to the max.
Sure we’re all familiar with Plato’s quote, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” It’s true, for the most part. But invention isn’t exclusive to the phrase as well. Survival is a logical byproduct of necessity, facilitating dreams to be manifested and goals to be achieved. Such is the case with sisters Faviola and Gabriella Trujillo, whose own chain of successful taco restaurants, Taco Y Taco, was born from a need to simply survive, especially with odds stacked against them.
Their father is an entrepreneurial success story as well, starting from a small butcher shop in Mexico, to opening up multiple full-service markets in Las Vegas, NV. But when economic downturn forced him to close up locations save for one, the Trujillo sisters knew that their circumstance as undocumented individuals made it likely that no one would hire them or offer them a work permit. The necessity to survive immediately grew from that seed of uncertainty and led them to formulate a sound business plan that would serve as the blueprint for their now successful business.
But defying the odds isn’t new to Faviola and Gabriella, who beyond their immigration status in the country, also broke through the typical perception of what a Mexican restaurant is, and presented a unique and different approach to a customer’s dining experience. Fresh ingredients, tried and true recipes, and attention to detail highlight Taco Y Taco’s model, creating a meal that’s memorable through a couple euphoric bites of their nationally-recognized al pastor tacos or simply knowing that it was built through taking a chance and living out one’s own dreams, no matter what circumstances or how daunting they initially seem to be.
Faviola and Gabriella have definitely made their mark in the world — have they or other similar experiences inspired you to do the same?
Recognizing that everyone has the ability and potential to do so, Cerveza Montejo wants to empower people to share their ideas with the world and turn them into pathways for extraordinary success. With the launch of their Stories That Defy Contest, Montejo is providing an opportunity for someone to win $10,000 to start their own business, artistry, or pursue creative endeavors. Find out more and enter now at StoriesThatDefy.com.
MONTEJO “STORIES THAT DEFY” CONTEST
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open to AZ, CA and NV residents 21+. Entries must be received by 8/31/20. See Official Rules at www.storiesthatdefy.com for prizes and details. Message and data rates may apply. Void where prohibited.
After over 130 years, Aunt Jemima’s brand and logo, based on a racial stereotype, will officially be retired.
Quaker Foods, who owns the brand of syrups and other breakfast products, made the announcement in a press release. In the statement, Quaker Foods North America VP and Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Kroepfl acknowledged the racial origins of the brand, saying that “while work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”
The Aunt Jemima logo is based on an economic and racial stereotype has long been used against Black communities in the United States. A caricature of African American women, it has been used across time to claim that Black women were “happy to be slaves” or “only fit to be domestic workers,” as put by an essay on the stereotype by Ferris State University.
Both the logo and the name have been used since 1889, based on a song from a minstrel’s skit that included the caricature. Editorials from papers like the New York Times have called for getting rid of the logo and name for years, and amidst the current global Black Lives Matter protests, the conversation has been enough to finally convince Quaker Oats to rework the brand.
In the last quarter of 2020, bottles of the syrup will have the logo removed and the name reworked to something currently unknown. Meanwhile, Quaker’s decision to retire the Aunt Jemima Brand has led other products who brand on racial stereotypes, like Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth’s, to overhaul their logos and packaging as well.
Macaroni and cheese. Ice cream. French fries. Jack Daniel’s whisky. Frozen foods in general.
We wouldn’t have any of the above foods, plus many others, were it not for Black food innovators and figureheads that have made significant contributions and altered the way we eat and make food today.
Below are just some of the stories of these incredibly talented and inspiring individuals. Some of these names came from research via the New York Times and Food and Wine, but we’ve also included historical sourcing and context for each person as well. You can click on their names to view those original pieces.
Known as “Uncle Nearest,” Nathan Green was a skilled distiller who mastered the “Lincoln County” process. This method of distilling is thought by food historians and whiskey experts alike to have been brought in by slaves, and uses charcoal to filter and purify foods. The “Lincoln County” process, in particular, uses sugar maple charcoal to filter bourbon.
Green trained hired hand Jasper Newton Daniel (known to the world as “Jack Daniel”) while working on a priest’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. Daniel eventually made him the first master distiller of Jack Daniel’s, the famous Tennessee whisky many people drink today.
While Jack Daniel’s shares the story of Green on their website, an all minority-led whisky brand named “Uncle Nearest” continues to build upon his legacy with spirits that use the same distilling technique, but feature Green’s name on the bottle.
While Thomas Jefferson is sometimes credited with bringing foods like mac & cheese and ice cream to the United States, Hemings was the one who actually learned to make them. A slave in the ownership of Jefferson prior to his presidency, Hemings traveled with him to France in 1784 specifically to learn the art of French cuisine.
Hemings became the first American trained as a French chef in history as a result, bringing back several dishes to the United States. French fries, ice cream, macaroni and cheese, creme brulee, French meringues, and French whipped cream are just a few examples. These dishes and others would be incorporated in Hemings’ signature half-French, half-Virginian style of cooking he became renowned for.
Hemings would later also cook one of the most famous dinners in American history: the one between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton that settled who would pay for the Revolutionary War and established Washington, D.C. as the United States’ capital. He eventually was freed by Jefferson in 1796.
Zephyr Wright was the personal chef for President Lyndon B. Johnson and his family for over twenty years. It was her cooking that made the Johnson household a popular one for D.C. dinner parties.
Wright would follow Johnson to the White House during his tenure, and was in charge of the home cooking in the White House kitchen. She would also temporarily cook all meals, including VIP ones, in between the tenures of two White House Executive Chefs.
Wright is thought to have heavily influenced Johnson’s support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964,. Wright was known to have spoken up to the President during his time in Congress about the injustices she faced road tripping between Texas and D.C. during congressional recesses, saying that she was not allowed to use the bathroom in areas she was driving through, and couldn’t stop off and eat at restaurants. President Johnson reportedly used some of her stories to convince Congress to sign the bill. He would also give her a White House pen when the act was signed into law.
The Queen of Creole Cuisine, Leah Chase was the heart and soul of Dooky Chase’s restaurant in New Orleans across seven decades. Known for her fried chicken, red beans and rice, gumbo, and other classics, Chase started out in the 1940s when she got a job as a server at a restaurant. She eventually took over the helm and made it a safe haven for anyone to come and eat at.
Dooky Chase’s was known as one of the few places that it was publicly okay for races to mix at, since the cops wouldn’t bother activists inside the restaurant. Thus, leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, including local leaders and national ones like Martin Luther King Jr., would often strategize while eating there.
Chase would go on to serve presidents like Barack Obama and George W. Bush, along with Associate Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and other influential figures. Disney has even made a movie with a character inspired by her: Princess Tiana of Princess and the Frog.
Around the early 1880s, Abby Fisher was known for her award-winning pickles and the Mrs. Abby Fisher Pickle Company in San Francisco. She had at least 35 years of cooking experience, some estimates had it, and the awards she won for her food reflected that.
However, Fisher is probably best known for publishing one of the first cookbooks ever authored by an African-American woman. The book, called What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, contains over 160 recipes and uses the dictated words of Fisher herself.
The cookbook surged in popularity in the late 20th century when a publisher began reprinting it in 1995. Today, it offers a window into these early recipes that places like museums try to recreate for guests to sample.
Edna Lewis became a legend while she cooked at Cafe Nicholson in Midtown Manhattan starting in 1949. Her fame and Southern recipes led to guests like Marlon Brando, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Salvador Dali showing up for dinner. After stepping away from the chef’s role (as an active partner) in 1952, she would lecture at the American Museum of Natural History while working as a chef and private caterer.
Lewis would later become inspired to write her first cookbook as demand for them grew in 1972. She was one of the first African-American women from the South that would publish a cookbook that did not hide her name, gender, or race. She would go on to publish more in the future, eventually becoming known as the Grand Dame and Grand Doyenne of Southern cooking.
The Bethune family, to this day, runs Brenda’s Bar-Be-Que Pit in Montgomery, Alabama. Open since 1942, the restaurant would become an important hub for those in the Civil Rights Movement.
After Rosa Parks infamously refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, Larry James and Jereline Bethune were instrumental in using their restaurant to organize bus boycott efforts around the city. As the movement continued and literacy test laws (meant to curtail the Black vote) were introduced, Jereline would also quietly hold lessons teaching other African-Americans how to read. They were then able to pass these literacy tests and go out and vote.
Ice cream today would not be the same without the work of Alfred Cralle. Born just after the Civil War, he had an affinity for mechanics as a young age, and would go study at Wayland Seminary, a school set up after the Civil War to educate newly freed African-Americans.
Cralle would go on to work as a porter at a drugstore and a hotel in Philadelphia, and developed the idea of the ice cream scoop while watching people struggle using two different spoons to get the ice cream into cones. Cralle’s mechanical inventional, which is the basis of how ice cream scoops work to this day, was invented in 1897.
Cralle would also become a successful promoter of businesses in Philly, and was the assistant manager of the Afro-American Financial, Accumulating, Merchandise, and Business Association in Pittsburgh.
Ever heard the story of how potato chips were invented to spite a customer at a restaurant? George Crum was the chef at said restaurant, the Moon Lake Lodge resort in Saratoga Springs. A customer came in around the summer of 1853 wanting extra-thin French Fries, frustrating Crum to the point he sliced them as thin as possible, fried them in grease, and sent them out.
The chips became a big hit, eventually becoming known as “Saratoga Chips.” While Crum never patented the dish, he did open his own restaurant, “Crumbs House,” that served a basket of them at every table.
Chips wouldn’t become a grocery product until 1895, and the concept of bagged chips didn’t show up until 1926.
Joseph Lee was one of the most influential people when it came to industrializing the way we make bread.
Having worked in a bakery from a young age, Lee eventually became the owner of two restaurants in Boston, as well as a hotel and a catering company. Looking to find a way to minimize bread waste, he eventually invented a machine that would convert day-old bread into breadcrumbs. Patented in 1895, he later sold the rights and the breadcrumb maker would spread across the world.
That wasn’t Lee’s only invention, however. He would later patent the idea for an automatic bread maker that mixed and kneaded the dough, the basis to the same devices (think, stand mixers) that we still use in our kitchens today.
Lloyd Hall is considered to be one of the pioneers in the world of food chemistry. A pharmaceutical chemist for Griffith Laboratories in Chicago who completed graduate school, Hall would be awarded over 100 patents and received multiple honorary doctorate degrees for his work.
Hall’s main area of work came around the development of techniques to preserve food. Some of his most revolutionary patents included using “flash-dried” salt crystals that revolutionized meatpacking. He also introduced the use of antioxidants to prevent the spoilage of fats and oils in baked goods, and developed a process known as “Ethylene Oxide Vacugas,” which could control the growth of bacteria and molds in food.
John Standard was an inventor instrumental in modernizing two pieces of kitchen equipment that virtually every household has today: stoves and refrigerators.
Refrigeration was a concept that was being researched as early as the 1830s, but mainly focused on using some sort of power. Standard’s improvement to the fridge, patented in 1891, was an unpowered design that used a manually filled ice chamber as the central cooling unit.
Standard also made significant upgrades to the oil-powered stove, patenting one with a space-saving design in 1889 that could be used in applications like buffet-style meals on trains.
If you’ve worked in the food industry or any commercial transportation that required keeping stuff cold, you’ve likely seen the Thermo King brand somewhere in your lifetime. Frederick McKinley Jones was the founder of that company, and inventor of the first automated refrigerated system for trucks.
A skilled and gifted electrician and mechanic, Jones had patents for sixty different inventions across a wide variety of fields, including the portable X-ray machine, motion picture devices, and even medical storage units.
He’s most known for the Thermo King, the refrigerated system he invented, because it allowed for fresh goods from around the world to be transported and sold in stores. Jones is essentially responsible for not just all refrigerated transport globally, but also the entire frozen food industry.
Known as the “Oyster King of New York,” Downing was most known for his 19th-century restaurant, Thomas Downing’s Oyster House. His oyster hall was legendary, with prominent figures like Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens having dined there.
Downing was born a free man, as his parents were freed by plantation owner John Downing. He grew up and was educated on Chincoteague Island in Virginia, and eventually made his way up to New York following the war of 1812. Like many other African-Americans in New York, Downing eventually went into the oyster business, opening his own oyster cellar in the 1820s.
Oyster cellars were the universal food of New York at the time (similar to hot dogs today), but many establishments weren’t as trusted as Downing’s. That’s because he specifically catering it towards the fine dining clientele, with a large dining area, carpet, and chandeliers gracing the hall. Elaborate dishes like oyster-stuffed turkeys and a pan roast made with wine and chili graced the menu.
This, at the time, meant that African-Americans couldn’t eat Downing’s restaurant, but few were aware of the double life he led. Downing’s basement was a key stop in the Underground Railroad, and as an abolitionist, he helped many that were escaping the South in search of freedom. He also led political efforts, funding schools for African-American children and leading the fight in desegregating New York’s trolley system.
Downing was so regarded in New York that when he passed away in 1866, the New York City Chamber of Commerce closed so that its members could attend his funeral.
The sugar industry in the United States has Norbert Rillieux to thank for allowing them to become so powerful. Were it not for his inventions, making sugar would still be a time-consuming and dangerous process.
Originally, the sugar refinement process, known as “The Jamaica Train,” was dangerous and expensive. Laborers (usually slaves) would transfer ladles of scalding hot sugar case juice between open boiling kettles, often resulting in scalding and terrible burns (anyone who’s worked with sugar knows how painful it can be). The result was a dark syrup that was molded into cones and dried before being sold.
From 1834-1843, Rillieux developed a system for refining and crystallizing sugar using a much safer and controlled method, allowing the United States to eventually dominate the sugar market. His process is still used today for freeze-drying food, pigments, and other food products.
Many people know George Washington Carver for the myriad of products he invented that utilized peanuts or sweet potatoes. As an agricultural scientist working in the South, he was also a man responsible for helping revitalize much of the economy in that region.
Working out of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Carver was a teacher and a researcher from the late 1890s until his passing in 1943. An early pioneer of crop rotation, he encouraged farmers to plant peanuts in the soil after harvest to replenish lost nutrients, helping farmers improve not just their livelihoods, but their diets as well.
Carver’s research and work focused on revitalizing soil and maximizing plant production while keeping costs to a minimum. Outside of agriculture, he was a massive promoter of racial equality, and massive advocate of peanut oil as a potential treatment for polio. While never proven, the claim was widely circulated in media, and eventually turned into a “Peanuts for Polio” fundraising effort that helped raise money for medical care and benefits for children affected with the disease.
Following Carver’s passing, then-Senator Harry S. Truman sponsored legislation that would lead to the construction of the George Washington Carver National Monument. It was the first-ever national memorial to an African-American.
Illustrations in this piece provided by Sam Brosnan.
There’s so much to unpack about this year. We have a raging pandemic, an unsuitable President in the position of leadership, and record high death and unemployment. Overall, a melting pot of unrest, fear, anger, impatience, stewed with a strong sense of feeling unacknowledged. Sirens, explosions and chants soundtrack the nationwide protests. Determined to be heard, those on the front line brave tear gas, rubber bullet and baton.
As we begin our second consecutive week of city-wide protests here in Los Angeles, efforts are being made globally in support of not only justice for George Floyd, but the many lives taken at the hands of police brutality for generations. Black and Brown, White or Yellow, and everything in between; each of us are experiencing first hand what lies behind the veil; a slow reveal of systemic oppression. While intersectionality has existed in many forms over the years, today, our access to witness police brutality in real-time has sparked an overwhelming intersectional, international response that has never before occured.
Fighting for a cause is not easy. It takes courage to voice an unpopular opinion about injustices, to challenge the status quo and to attempt to inspire change in your fellow human beings. No one likes being told what they believe is wrong, especially if they’ve believed it for most of their life. Systemic racism runs centuries deep, so to educate another about its impact requires lots of patience. It requires lots of self-education as well.
Protest doesn’t just reside in the streets, it also has a place in our daily interactions with friends and family, at home or over dinner. Being accustomed to our social routine makes having those “dinner time” conversations challenging. We all have that overt racist relative that for all our lives, we’ve made the excuse, “Oh that’s just how they are.” Other times the racism is less overt and more rooted in a misconception of class inferiority and privilege. Nevertheless, we can no longer allow fear to impede the change we know deep down is necessary.
I’d like to share a quote from Margaret Renkl of The New York Times, “And the problem with writing off people who don’t recognize this country’s pervasive and enduring culture of white supremacy, much less the ways in which they themselves benefit from it, is simple: Being called a racist almost never causes a racist to wake up. Being called a racist almost never causes a racist to say, “Oh, wow, you’re right.”
So how do we have these uncomfortable conversations with close friends and loved ones? How many more family dinners can we have where we allow racist remarks to go unchecked, simply for the sake of not ruining everyone’s meal? These are some questions we’ve asked ourselves here at Foodbeast. With our unique family dynamics and cultural experiences, there seems no single way to approach this conversation. Thinking more about this, I felt that maybe by just sharing personal experiences, we could help to inspire others who are similarly wanting to speak up but unsure of the best method. This is a convo many of us have had or will need to have, so I decided to reach out to close friends as well as fellow Foodbeast fam to share their uncomfortable dinner conversations:
“Yesterday, our city had a scheduled peaceful protest. This was the first time that I really paid attention to my parents’ media consumption. They only have Facebook and watch traditional news from Spanish TV channels. I realized that they haven’t seen any of the peaceful protesting, the policemen that instigate violence, the white looters who destroy cities in the name of BLM, the repeated incidents throughout the country. I took some time to show them some things on my Twitter feed, and reminded them that this stuff is coming from real people on the scene, whereas the stuff that they’re watching is coming from sensationalized news. Although they were surprised, I think I was the one who had a bigger moment of realization. Members of my immediate and extended family are not consuming the same news that I am, and it’s my responsibility to direct them to those sources. As light-skinned Latinos, we don’t have conversations about colorism or American racism in regards to the Black community. I’m now actively responding to them more on Facebook & sharing more about BLM.”
“I call out my family on pretty much everything. Asian families have a deeply rooted anti-Blackness, so anything involving Black people they blame it on them – saying how they’re scary, they’re violent, etc. I try to educate by talking about the bigger picture, how the media frames black people as antagonists, how it’s unfair how we are so anti-Black without questioning why. Of course I’m either met with silence or resistance.”
“The conversation was with my boyfriend and mom regarding looting and rioting. I had to explain to my boyfriend the dangers of telling a non-Black person that you don’t agree with the looting and rioting. Now my mom thinks, “See he is Black and he doesn’t like it either.” Well obviously he doesn’t want his neighborhood fucked up like the riots and Black and Brown business owners suffering from it, but when my mom hears that, she hears “He hates all looting and rioting.”
And I make my case for why looting and rioting happens – deeply embedded in the country’s history, wealth gap, history of ownership and private property and the disparities for Black and Brown folks. And my boyfriend is like, “Yes I get it but I still don’t think they should be fucking up OUR shit.” So I’m like, “You need to make that very clear to my mother.” And my mom said, “No, I get it.” And I know her ass doesn’t.”
“Whenever I have these conversations with my mom, she meets it with resistance (from deeply rooted racism), but the more I talk, the more I explain, the more she listens. But I do remember an instance where she responded to my conversations with, “Oh so now you’re gonna go date a Black guy?” and I got angry because she missed the point. But with more conversations, more calling out, the more I see her think. I had a more broad talk with her when we were talking about the COVID protests, how white people use their privilege to protest their “rights being taken away”, the way that they haven’t been oppressed and how that’s the main issue at hand. It’s never been about how Black people are “bad,” it’s been about how society responds to privilege and the layers of systemic racism. These convos are just going to have to keep happening for change to happen.”
“I talked to my friend who only dates Black males and wasn’t doing anything about this movement that was uncomfortable. She ended up listening to me but I told her, “Hey you’ve only dated men of color the entire time I’ve known you and you are dating one right now…and you’re letting all of these things happen and you can’t even show up when I ask you to come with me to make a difference. It makes me mad that you complain about white people all the time but at a time that it really matters you care more about yourself and your own comfort.”
“I have a friend that used the n-word while I was on the phone with them, the catalyst being a hit-and-run accident on the freeway while raining.
I’ve never had the courage to talk to them about it. I’m deathly afraid because I fear it will destroy a friendship of hundreds of positive experiences together. A friendship that’s had an insanely positive impact on my life.
I believe I’m gathering the courage, but to be honest, I’m so afraid that I can’t stop crying while writing this.”
As you can see, there is no perfect way to go about broaching the sensitive subject of racism. The conversation you have with your elders may be different than the one you have with those in your age group. The common thread in all of these stories is that it requires patience and persistence. Your food might get cold in the process.
New information uproots, shifts and transforms. How that experience feels to us is dependent on our willingness to accept change. Equally important is the messenger. We’re experiencing probably one of the most pivotal moments of our lifetime where if we want real change, it requires real action. Not selfish action, but mindful action. At Foodbeast, we’re working each day to learn how to better support that change. Below are some links that discuss ways to help you break the ice as these necessary conversations are had: