[Video] Racial Tension Headaches: Kale Smoothies for a "Post-Racial" Era

I attended the San Francisco Green Festival on November 11, 2012 to give a food demo. I think I may have been the only person presenting that included ”racial tension” and “racism” as descriptive words for my presentation. This is my first food demo I have ever given. I was nervous.

This comes from my years of work and personal experience of not being able to deal with the years of racist micro-aggressions to the overt direct in your face “Ima call you a n*gger”. I have talked about the days I have overdosed on vegan organic jelly beans after dealing with blatant white supremacist thinkers. And I have done this even though I know intellectually that I am not supposed to do that and then expect to feel ‘in harmony.’  So, when I was asked to participate this year, I decided that I would take the ‘bold’ step to send them my title, “Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: Holistic Vegan Recipes to Combat the Stresses of Racism.” They accepted it. I was surprised LOL.

The audience was a mixed bunch but just about all the chairs were seated. I realized that people either were genuinely interested in what I had to say…. or were just staying through all food demos to get the free food at the end. Haha. So, maybe that is what I should do in the future when I talk about racism and white supremacy to a mainstream audience: offer food!

By the way, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the reference ‘racial tension headaches’, my demo was in response to this Saturday Night live skit with Queen Latifah who takes Excedrin for her racial tension headache.

Kale Smoothie Recipe for Racial Tension Headaches

3-4 Big leaves of Dino Kale or Lacinato Kale
1″ to 1.5 ” cube of fresh ginger ( I like more but sometimes 1.5″ is too much for beginners)
1 tsp Spirulina (Hawaiian Pacifica Brand)
1 tsp of Chlorella (Sun Chlorella)
1 medium to large Hass Avocado
1-2 pitted Medjool dates
1.5 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1/8 c raw pumpkin seeds
25 oz of water (fits big blenders like Vitamix)
1 tsp of Maca (Sol Raiz Organics brand)

Nettles Oatstraw Tea

  1. Simmer 1/4 c of nettles leaves in 15oz of water for 3 minutes.
  2. Turn off and then put in 2 heaping tbsp of oatstraw. Cover and let sit for an hour.
  3. Strain and drink.


  • Queen Afua Sacred Woman
  • Breeze Harper Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food Identity Health and Society.

19 thoughts on “[Video] Racial Tension Headaches: Kale Smoothies for a "Post-Racial" Era

  1. Breeze,

    This is great! So glad you were able to contribute in that eye-opening manner. I’m surprised-and not surprised-that you were the only one who included the need to heal from racism in the presentation. Such important stuff. Glad to know people were attentive…the ripple effect, planting seeds, all good things!

    BTW-your mane is just gorgeous.

  2. i so loved this video and can’t believe that i got through the whole thing as i have had an exhausting week. i’ve been really stressed lately because i’m moving from oakland to berkeley after 21 years in the same place, so this video came at just the right moment! i can’t wait to start my kale smoothies! you rock, breeze!

    1. Yes, depending on your income, it is expensive for most people. Spirulina brand that I buy on Amazon.com is $27. But that lasts 157 days. Chlorella that I buy lasts 1/2 year too, and it is about $25. A bunch of organic kale is $1.99 and that lasts me three days. Ginger Root organic is about $6/lb bout it’s so potent that it lasts for awhile too. I do agree that avocados can be expensive, depending if they are in season or have to be shipped far away to get to you. You don’t have to use Avocado, but I do feel like the smoothies don’t taste as good or sit as well in my stomach. However, perhaps there are cheaper and just as healthier fatty alternative? Maca root powder I buy is $30 and yea, it is expensive. But that lasts me about 45 days. You also don’t have to do Maca. The most important ingredients are the ‘green’ parts of the smoothie. I mention Nettles leaf. A pound of organic dried leaves are about $11 and they last for a REALLY long time. My recipe is just one ‘way’ to deal with stress using food.

    1. Flesh from animals, depending on which animals, provide protein, fat, iron, essential fatty acids, for example. But these cravings can appeased through plant-based options for most people.

  3. This was a great video and really helpful. I love breakfast – favorite meal of the day – but I often eat food that doesn’t set me up to have a healthy day (crave sweet, fatty, eggy, cheesy) – this seems like an amazing substitute!

  4. 1. I love your hair/wrap!
    2. I think you mean Queen Latifah instead of Afua =), but I so think that commercial is right on!


    3. I think this is a great idea and recipe. I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, so I largely rely on animal products for protein, fats, etc. but I do have some spirulina and I am a green smoothie junkie — usually spinach, kale, coconut oil, etc.

    I’m trying to think of (if I have to) what else I can use to substitute, since I tend to agree that some of these are a bit pricey. But the bulk section around here offers a great variety of things, which is awesome, so I’ll look for the others. I’m now on a mission. :O)

  5. Hey Breeze, I finally tried your recipe for the green smoothie. Normally, I juice in the mornings and rarely make smoothies because I don’t have a large blender. I actually used my 20 oz food processor for this recipe and it handled the load of greens, dates, seeds and avocado just fine! I started taking chlorella and spirulina about a week ago and have just been taking it in my juice or in water everyday but I actually like it in this smoothie! The maca and dates really help balance that seaweed flavor and makes it more enjoyable. I’ll definitely be making this one more often. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe and for the work that you do. It’s truly inspiring.

    Be well,

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