The Sistah Vegan Project

I guess Black male vegans just don’t exist….

Extended deadline for Abstracts is November 15, 2013. Final completed piece deadline: March 15, 2014.

You can email me your abstracts (approximately 2 paragraphs) at the email address sistahvegan(at)gmail (dot). Com

Click on the above video to hear about Brotha Vegan , the sibling to Sistah Vegan book. (TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO FOLLOWS AFTER THE DETAILS BELOW)

This anthology isn’t only about veganism. It’s actually critical perspectives and arts coming from a black male vegan consciousness; black men/men of African descent living in North America. You can talk about veganism, but you can also talk about other topics that intersect with your vegan consciousness. What are the ways in which black vegan males think about:

  1. Hip hop culture and vegan activism
  2. Environmental and nutritional racism
  3. Meat eating as a “masculine” stereotype
  4. Class and food access
  5. Structural racism’s effects on food acces
  6. “Obesity” and diabetes in the African American community
  7. Access to clean water as a race, class, and gender issue.
  8. PETA
  9. Going Green; green jobs; green economy
  10. Fatherhood
  11. Teenhood
  12. Ageism
  13. Sexism
  14. Food sovereignty
  15. Occupy movement
  16. Experiencing life as a black male who is queer and vegan
  17. Disabilities studies and race
  18. Prison industrial complex
  19. Afrocentricism
  20. Spirituality and consumption
  21. Critical analysis of Afrocentric and Afrikan Holistic Health movement
  22. Decolonizing the body
  23. Animal liberation
  24. Raising vegan children

This volume will be loving and open-minded. I am not going to accept media that is sexist, homophobic, or anti-trans. This volume should be a safe artistic space for all black men, but in particular, marginalized black males such as sexuality minorities (black males who are gay, for example) and black men living with disabilities.

TRANSCRIPT (transcribed by Sara Garcia): 

(Breeze Harper sitting outside, looks at the camera and speaks):

Hey this is Breeze Harper of the Sistah Vegan Project and I need brotha vegans to contribute to the Sistah Vegan sibling anthology called Brotha Vegan. Okay?

So, I have extended this deadline, this is the third time now, because I have received no abstracts from any of you all. There are like millions of men of African descent on this planet, and I’m sure there are a substantial amount of y’all who practice veganism and have something to say. So I just need 20. 20 contributions, okay?

And if you’re not a writer that is okay because there are many different ways that you can let folk know what veganism has done for you, and or looking at life through the lens of veganism. So, you don’t even have to necessarily talk about veganism, but I am just looking specifically at what does the world look like through your black male vegan consciousness?
This is what I’m looking for, okay? So, you can talk about hip hop culture and vegan activism. You can talk about issues like animal rights. PETA is a big one. You know, a lot of people agree with them, a lot of people disagree with them. A lot of them think that they do great work. Other people feel that they have problems with them.

You could talk about maybe the Occupy Movement, or politics. Obama. You could talk about disability issues and the ableism that is rampant in a lot of the mainstream rhetoric about veganism.

What’s your take on obesity and food? Is there a link or not?

You know, class and food access.

Issues like decolonizing the body. Is the food that the standard american…the food that they are eating, is it really a type of Anglo-centric, colonialistic, imperialistic way of forcing people to eat?

Raising vegan children. You know, so much, so much that you could talk about. Alternative forms of black masculinity such as not eating meat.
What does that mean? There’s just so much that you could do. You could talk about it, write about it. [And] if you’re not into writing really long essays, [you can write] poetry. If you’re just not into writing but you love drawing or painting, do something with that beautiful talent of yours. Draw what’s on your mind. Paint what’s on your mind. And also, I’m hoping that this is even possible because of the Age of the Internet, that you could maybe even sing or perform a video that links people who are reading that book to that mp3, or to that video of what you have got to say if you’re a documentarian. Or, you could have a 3 to 5 minute video that you would want to contribute, or a song. That is what I want from you guys. So, [by] November 15th [2012], just send me [an abstract of] one or two paragraphs at sistahvegan at gmail dot com, Okay?

And then I’ll get back to people by December 15th, with what pieces I choose, and then I’ll ask that those pieces be completed by March 15th of 2013. This is flexible, so if March 15th comes along and I still just don’t have what I need, I’ll just keep on extending it. I had the same challenges with the Sistah Vegan anthology and I didn’t give up. I just kept on reminding myself, “Maybe now is not the time, but maybe in six months, maybe in a year,” and eventually I got everything that I needed together to create this, I think, beautiful project that really adds this voice and adds a perspective to this vegan movement. This vegan cultural practice in North America that is largely still, when you look at [mainstream] media,
those who are really represented are just the white, middle class perspective, which of course isn’t bad, because of course that is a valid perspective. But there are many other perspectives and problems that the media, whether it’s vegan mainstream media or just regular media in general, they just really don’t represent other ways of knowing and being.
And I’m hoping that having had Sistah Vegan do so well, I’m showing that there are alternative voices within the vegan movement that we can now move onto looking at what the Brothas have to say.

So if you have any questions, comments, please always always feel free to email me, sistahvegan (at) gmail (dot) com, or you can post something on the blog if you think everybody else whose reading it may benefit from that question.
Okay? Good luck with your creativity and I really look forward to listening to, reading, experiencing what brothah vegans have to say.

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19 thoughts on “I guess Black male vegans just don’t exist….

  1. Whenever you post videos, would it be possible to include a transcript of what goes on? Your posts can be very inaccessible without them.

    My computer doesn’t have sound enabled, and so I miss out on part of the content. I have a Deaf friend who can’t experience this content either.

    Thank you.

    • Sorry Nyux. I don’t read from a transcript, so I can’t post it until I go and transcribe it. I am going to see if YouTube has closed caption option and can translate what I’m saying. I could swear they had that option. Thanks for letting me know. There is so much I want to and need to do to make my posts more accessible. It would require more time and volunteers (as Sistah Veganproject is just me). I’ll try to figure out ‘cc’ and/or see if I can afford someting like Dragon Dictate sofwatre to transcribe while I’m talking to the camera, if that makes sense.

      • Oh, and wanted to clarify that I’m not lazy or that I don’t care about the fact that my videos are not very accessible for hearing impaired people. At this point, I just don’t have childcare help (and don’t sleep because the baby doesn’t believe in sleeping throughout the night, but thankfully her 3 year old brother does!), I work 1/2 time from home, am dissertating, and really only have time to do anything if the kids take a nap ‘at the same time.’ If I could afford childcare, then I’d be able to dedicate a lot more time to making it more accessible…and I’d probably already have been done with my dissertation work a year ago! LOL.

      • Sara Ines on said:

        If you ever need someone to transcribe your videos, I would be glad to do so for free. I’m also fluent in Spanish.

      • Dear Sara. Thanks so much. I would love that. Please let me know if you’d want to transcribe the video above. I truly appreciate your generosity!

    • Oh, and wanted to clarify that it’s not that I’m lazy or that I don’t care about the fact that my videos are not very accessible for hearing impaired people. At this point, I just don’t have childcare help (and don’t sleep because the baby doesn’t believe in sleeping throughout the night, but thankfully her 3 year old brother does!), I work 1/2 time from home, am dissertating, and really only have time to do anything if the kids take a nap ‘at the same time.’ If I could afford childcare, then I’d be able to dedicate a lot more time to making it more accessible…and I’d probably already have been done with my dissertation work a year ago! LOL.

    • It has now been transcribed by a volunteer.

  2. Hey Breezie:

    I want to submit an abstract for this anthology…been living as mostly vegan man for quite awhile now, as you know. Just been pushing through the dissertation writing and it’s difficult to write on anything outside of that. But I will do my best…thanks for the reminder and extension, forgot all about this. Will be in touch…

    Much Love,

    Gregory

    On Sun, Sep 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM, The Sistah Vegan Project wrote:

    > ** > Breeze Harper posted: “Extended deadline for Abstracts is November 15. > Final completed piece deadline: March 15, 2013. You can email me your > abstracts (approximately 2 paragraphs) at the email address > sistahvegan(at)gmail (dot). Com > Clic”

  3. This sounds really interesting – I hope you get some submissions, I would love to read them. You would have thought that Bryant Terry could get in touch!
    Mark
    http://herbifit.wordpress.com

  4. DHolisticHealer on said:

    Hello Breeze, I would suggest that you reach out to Brother Echo Roberson who is a Vegan. He has several channels on YouTube & Facebook pages (Brother Echo/Raw Sangha/Open Source Truck). I am sure he would be a great contribution to this project. Blessings!

  5. Milton on said:

    Count me in, sistah. I am a black male and I have been a vegan for about a year. This way of eating has changed my life. When I returned home from Iraq in Sept 09, I was sick as a dog. Now with eating a vegan diet I am on my way to optimal health. I want to tell my story. Give me more details on how I can participate in this project.

  6. Hello my name is Larry W. Williams. I produced a short documentary that tells part of the story of my relationship with food and what I have learned about it and how it has been the catalyst that eventually delivered me into a Vegan Lifestyle. You may see it on my blog at https://larrywwilliams.wordpress.com/

  7. Breeze, I happened upon this by accident. Only when I typed “black vegan men” into google did I accidentally find you. Rather than just putting a message out to people that may or may not know that you exist, how about contacting 60-80 black vegan men individually and going about it like that?

    • Thanks Stephen, but I don’t know 60+ vegan black men :-) But, I did send out about 20 invitations to vegan black males 2-3 years ago when I originally had the idea and didn’t get any pieces. Thanks for your suggestions though.

  8. Hate that I’m just now seeing this post. Don’t know if you ever got what you were looking for but Happily Natural Day (based in Richmond and Atlanta) seemed to have a lot of possibly vegan/vegetarian men affiliated. The event, which happens every August), also has a strong affiliation (particularly in Atlanta) with Stic Man from Dead Prez and his wife Afaya. They also would likely have connects with M-1 and his wife Nerissa Irving (Jamaican model). Just attending one or both events might be helpful. Also on instagram check out Badass Vegan and Vegan Dread, two vegan brothers who are into plant-based bodybuilding. Good luck. I really enjoyed Sistah Vegan.

  9. I say respectfully from a person who admires your work, I believe the reason you may be having a problem in ‘discovering’ Black male vegans is because your studies are obviously very gynocentric, attracting mostly a female audience along with the fact that the same intergender divide that has plagued Black male/female relationships may have also created an unintended void of communication between those of like interest and life-choices.
    The title of your video is not that inviting, and if something similar was proposed by a Black man as it relates to Black women, it would’ve been deemed offensive, myopic, and to some Black women, chauvinistic, for there are many Black men who take their ‘veganism’ seriously, take offense to being dismissed, and some of them themselves have suggested that it is hard to find Black women with the same degree of devotion, in observing that many Sisters adopt veganism as a short-time fad based on whatever is convenient and sociopolitically fashionable at a particular time in their life.
    Believing that Black men ‘are not this’, or Black women ‘are not that’ are becoming hardened implicit biases being harbored by each group. For you can believe that regardless of how many Black men respond to your inquiry, many Black Vegan Women will continue to believe that “Black men vegans just don’t exist…”
    As you know, there have always been Black men at the forefront of the vegetarian and vegan movement, from Dick Gregory to Ben Ammi of the African Hebrews (be we support their religio-political views or not), and the list goes on.
    I know it’s too late to partake in your project…maybe next time, anyway, I wish you the best.

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