On Growing Up Black in Rural White Connecticut, Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter, and Scars: Vegan Nation Radio Interview With Dr. A. Breeze Harper

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My latest radio interview on Vegan Nation, interviewed by Marlene Narrow, discussing my new novel Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England, my upcoming conference “Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter”, and my newest research book project on Hip Hop, Vegan Black Men, and Ethical Consumption.

In this interview, I mention some of my heroes and their contributions to my own activism and scholarship: Martin Rowe, Lauren Ornelas, pattrice jones, and DJ Cavem.
After listening to the radio interview, you can find more information about what I talk about, below:
 

THE 2015 VEGAN ANTI-RACIST CHANGE-MAKER OF THE YEAR: Accepting Nominations Now!

THE 2015 VEGAN ANTI-RACIST CHANGE-MAKER OF THE YEAR

Nomination Deadline:

April 1, 2015.

Description of Award:

This year, the Sistah Vegan Conference is hosting the “Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter: Challenging Neoliberal Whiteness While Building Anti-Racist Solidarity Amongst Vegans of Color and Allies (Before, After, and Beyond Ferguson ).” It is scheduled for April 24-25, 2015 and will be online. We are proud to announce our new annual competition and award for the ANTI-RACIST CHANGE-MAKER OF THE YEAR.

Criteria:

Because the primary goal of the Sistah Vegan Project is to support Black cisgender women and transwomen, we require that the nominee identify as a Black woman (cisgender or transwoman) who practices veganism. Though their scholarship or activism need not be directly related to veganism or animal liberation, their work should be in continuum of the Black Lives Matter movement. The Black Lives Matter movement is grounded in Black feminist queer theories of liberation and justice.

How to nominate:

(1) Submit  letter of nomination (600 words or less) that describes the crucial work that the nominee is doing, with particular reference to how it supports Black Lives Matter and dismantling systemic racism and/or systemic anti-blackness (Click here to read more about what we mean by dismantling racism as a system/structure). SELF-NOMINATION IS FINE.

(2) Submit an example of their work (i.e. online portfolio of music, art; bibliography of books or articles written, blog)

(3) Provide nominee’s phone and email contact information.

(4) Email your nomination to: sistahvegan@gmail.com with the subject head of: ANTI-RACIST AWARD NOMINATION.

Award and Requirements:

$500

1 person will be selected to receive an award of $500 that they must use towards their scholarship or activism. Within a year of receiving the award, they will be asked to provide the Sistah Vegan Project with a short report on how they have used their award. This report will be published on the Sistah Vegan website. In addition, they will have the option for their image to be turned into a stencil and placed on our new line of social justice oriented earrings: Fashionable Resistance: The Art of Critical Thinking and Changemaking. 

Notification of Winning Candidate:

By April 20, 2015.

Public Announcement will be made during the April 24-25 conference, and the moderator or the nominee (if available), will describe their work to the audience for about 15 minutes.

THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT IS ACTIVELY SEEKING SPONSORS FOR THIS AMAZING AWARD.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SPONSOR THIS AWARD, PLEASE READ MORE ABOUT OUR SPONSORSHIP LEVELS AND/OR CONTACT DR. A. BREEZE HARPER.

THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJET ALSO SEEKS CROWDFUNDING TO CONTINUE PROJECTS AND EVENTS SUCH AS THIS CONFERENCE AND NEW GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH AND PUBLICATIONS. CLICK BELOW TO DONATE ONE TIME OR AS A MONTHLY DONOR.

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Pigs as Cops, Cops as Pigs: What Does a Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter Look Like Beyond Speciesist Depictions of Pigs?

About an hour ago, I was looking through the work of Emory Douglas (see image below and click on it to go to the link to the book).

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I started reading through his book again today because his work, though over 40 years old, is applicable today. His images show Black people resisting the white supremacist militarized police state. The images are powerful, breathtaking, and heartbreaking. As I sifted through the pages of this genius work, I couldn’t believe that this mess was still happening today; but also felt inspired that this work is a continuum that we see in the Black Lives Matter Movement, founded by Alicia Garza.

Eerily, at the same time I was looking through Emory’s book and thinking about how to implement it into my own work, I was on Facebook looking through Vegans of Color group posts. Someone had posted a current image depicting the Black Lives Matter movement in which there is a carton of young Black person fighting against the militarized police state. The police officers depicted in the cartoon are drawn as pigs. The person who posted the image said, “word to her and the energy/people/movement she represents! but to the system she/we oppose–let’s not disparage actual pigs in the process, yeah? (smile)”. Perfect timing that he would write this while I was looking through the Emory Douglas book because I had been thinking the same thing since I received the book as a wonderful gift for my birthday, about 5 years ago, signed by him by way of my friend Frank. He even referred to me as “Sistah Vegan” in the inscription. I briefly talked to him at one of Frank’s birthday parties. (I admit it: I was too shy to talk more to him, just like I was too shy to talk more to Angela Davis and give her a copy of my book. Yup, I’m still shaking my head over that one…and then I learn she’s vegan and probably would have appreciated Sistah Vegan. LOL. Oh well, live an learn.)

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First of all, I cannot reiterate enough that Emory Douglas’s book is genius, amazing, and inspiring. The work he has done as a Black Liberationist and Black Panther is truly remarkable and has deeply influenced the direction of my own work. In addition, Emory Douglas eats a vegan diet. However, what is striking to me as someone who is a critical race , black feminist, and critical vegan scholar, I noticed throughout his work that Douglas depicts cops as ‘bacon’ and ‘pigs’.

I know that everyone changes throughout life and what we ate or believed in at 30 may differ drastically at 40, then 50, etc. So, I’ve been wondering about Emory Douglas’ vegan dietary practice and if this practice has changed his thoughts on he having used pigs as a way to demonize and depict the police state of the USA in the 1960s and 1970s. I wonder what he’d say about it; if he still agrees with his use of pig images to protest racialized state violence against Black people. (See a few of many images depicting cops as pigs, in the book below).

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I’ve also been thinking a lot how the consumption of pigs, among ‘conscious’ Black people who no longer eat animals, has long been associated as being a ‘filthy’ and ‘low’ animal; that many ‘conscious’ Black people working hard to decolonize and liberate Black people have chosen to not eat pigs because they believe they are ‘dirty animals’…. as opposed to the belief that eating pigs is cruel because of the suffering that pigs go through as a commodity in the mainstream food system of the USA. There seems to be a speciesist vegan dietary element to this logic; quite a contradiction in many ways. But, I want to dig deeper and I don’t want to dismiss the brilliant work of Black liberationist who think this way about pigs and human consumption.

I hope to continue to think through Emory’s work and figure out a way to talk about the significance of his work through a vegan praxis of Black Lives Matters… Emory, if you are reading this, please let me know if you’d be interested in talking about this for the Sistah Vegan Conference, which is online in April: The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter.

Hey folk out here, if what I have written above has got your wheels turning, then I hope you will join us, support us, donate to us, and/or sponsor the upcoming Sistah Vegan hosted online conference, The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter. During the conference, I hope we can talk more about the meaning of Emory Douglas’ work (maybe even by way of Emory himself), the use of pig imagery in resisting racist police state, consuming a vegan diet, and the difficult contradictions we all often find ourselves in; after all, many of us as Black Lives Matter activists of color– vegan and non-vegan–  are still practicing the decolonization of our minds around internalized racism as well as speciesist notions of ‘the place of the animal'; it is a continuum and I want to build on Douglas’ work, not dismiss or start honing in only on the images of ‘cops and pigs, pigs as cops.’ His work– and many of the Black Panthers who have written about Black Liberation (many who were not vegetarian or vegan) have deeply influenced the direction of my work in a positive manner. I’m about ‘building’ on this, acknowledging possible weaknesses or methods that may not apply now, and moving forward while not forgetting about the past!

Like what we do? Find our more about the Sistah Vegan Project and donate towards our new groundbreaking critical race vegan book project on black male vegans and hip hop, as well as the April 24-25 2015 online conference. Click the image below. We just hit our $9,000 our of $25,000 goal this week. Help us reach $10,000 by the end of February 2015!

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[Event]: Breeze Harper Will Be the Keynote Speaker at Social Justice Summit, Cal State-Fullerton, February 21, 2015

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Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Event: Social Justice Summit: Breaking Down Barriers

Date and Time: Feb. 21, 2015. 9:15 a.m.

Keynote Talk Description: A. Breeze Harper will be giving a critical race feminist vegan oriented keynote talk from 9:15-10:15am, on Saturday Feb. 21, 2015.

For more information: http://www.fullerton.edu/volunteer/summit/

How to Get Dr. A. Breeze Harper to Speak at Your Institution or Organization

If you would like to invite Dr. A. Breeze Harper to speak at your institution or organization, please contact her by clicking here.

Dr. Harper’s most recent talk “ON FERGUSON, THUG KITCHEN &TRAYVON MARTIN: INTERSECTIONS OF [POST] RACE-CONSCIOUSNESS, FOOD JUSTICE AND HIP-HOP VEGANISM” took place at Middlebury College, Fall 2014. It can be viewed here. 

If you like A. Breeze Harper’s work, click here to find out how you can support her latest book project (in which her Middlebury lecture is based on) and Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter conference.

Blueberry Avocado Sorbet Recipe and Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter: We Can Do Both!

Closed Captions for Hearing Impaired. I hope it works Out. I’m still trying to figure CC out.

Recipe:

2 Pints of Blueberries
5 pitted dates
1 large Hass Avocado
1/2 c of water
1 tsp of organic Spriulina

Blend on high for 1.5 minutes in Vitamix or comparable blender. Put into ice cream machine like a Cuisinart Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt maker. You can always had more dates to make it sweeter.

See what else the Sistah Vegan Project is up to. Yea, we do recipes, we blog, but we also are the only pro-vegan project that does things like put together critical race feminist oriented vegan conferences! Check out our Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter: Challenging Neoliberal Whiteness While Building Anti-Racist Solidarity Among Vegans of Color and Allies. coming April 24-25, 2015, online!

And we are the only project working on a critical race and decolonial analytical book about veganism, ethical consumption, hip hop veganism, and alternative black masculinities. Find out more here.

As much as I love mainstream vegan recipe blogs, I’d love to see more critical and outspoken posts that question systemic oppression beyond non-human animal cruelty. It is possible to throw down a mad cool recipe about local ingredients to make sorbet and then talk about how systemic racism makes so many of us sick…and then offer some recipes for ‘racial tension headaches’ to start the conversation about what it’s like trying to eat vegan food in a USA in which the food system– well, ‘the system’ overall– maintains and perpetuates racism and justifies/normalizes anti-black  violence as well as speciesist violence.

On a side note, several of you have asked about my hair. It’s big, fluffy, and voluminous. A lot of folk who have had more than one baby, have told me that their hair is thin or has and continues to fall out. I had the same problem until I figured out this secret.

Like what we do? We do too. Consider Donating.

[Event]Bay Area Food Policy Councils Will Discuss Achievements and New Programs in Berkeley

This came my way. Perhaps Bay area people can attend. I will be attending.

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Bay Area Food Policy Councils Will Discuss Achievements and New Programs at

Special Event in Berkeley

OAKLAND, Calif., January 27, 2015 – On Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30 pm, Oakland-based Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy will host a panel of representatives from Bay Area food policy councils. Food policy councils bring together food activists, community members, urban planners, and both municipal and state governments to make recommendations on how to make a food system more accountable to its constituents.

During the event, panelists will share their respective council’s most recent achievements, ongoing initiatives, and goals. Afterwards, audience members will have the opportunity to respond, ask questions, and engage with the representatives and each other.

The panel will feature food policy council representatives from several East Bay communities including Martin Bourque from Berkeley, Doria Robinson and Laneisha Whitfield from Richmond, and Esperanza Pallana from Oakland. Additionally, Michael Dimock will represent the statewide California Food Policy Council. Food First Executive Director Eric Holt-Giménez will moderate the discussion.

Partnering to create local food initiatives that build food justice in communities, food policy councils work to establish an equitable and sustainable food system. There are more than 200 food policy councils in North America. Reflecting on the goals of the Oakland Food Policy Council, council director Esperanza Pallana notes: “We believe that we need to focus on equity first, as sustainability flows out of equity. We can’t have sustainability without having equity first.”

This event is part of Food First’s Third Wednesdays Event Series at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, which fosters community discussion about topics related to the right to food. The event will begin promptly at 6:30pm, and the public is advised to arrive early to secure seats. La Peña Cultural Center is located at 3105 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705.

For more information about La Peña Cultural Center, please visit http://www.lapena.org.

For more information about Food First, please visit http://www.foodfirst.org.

The Best Vegan Mock Fish n Chips in San Francisco: Indochine new vegan restaurant in the Mission

Sistah Vegan’s Best of the SF Bay: Indochine Restaurant’s Vegan Fish n Chips.

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Welcome to our new Sistah Vegan series: Sistah Vegan’s Best of the SF Bay. I will do video reviews of what I consider the best vegan treats in the area on a weekly basis. I’ll start getting really critical yet be appreciative as well. This means I’ll start asking how well employees are treated, how ethically are some ingredients sourced, did the vegan place come out of gentrified space, is accessible for people living with physical disabilities, is it easy to take your baby with you.

I do a 30 second review of “Feast n Chips” dish at the new IndoChine Vegan restaurant in San Francisco. This dish is a vegan version of “fish n chips” . IndoChine is at Valencia St. and 16th in the Mission.  Excellent. I kept on telling my husband that this tasted like how I remember fish used to taste. Everything was fresh and yummy. The Bathroom was beautiful and clean. I need to have an immaculate bathroom with a visit a restaurant. We had two other dishes wish I posted below as well.

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Like We We Do! Donate and See Other projects in the works:

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Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: Black Lives Matter Movement and Self-Care(A Green Smoothie Approach)

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. Though posted over two years ago, I am reposting this in light of Black Lives Matter Movement and in response to the significant amount of stress and emotional pain I continue to go through, as an anti-racist vegan activist. I will be expanding upon these ideas for the Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter online Sistah Vegan conference at the end of April 2015. If you enjoy this and would like to see more videos that have ‘recipes for racial tension headaches’, please support us by donating to the Sistah Vegan Project.

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About the video:

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 in 2012, 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 (Now Foods 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.

Books

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