Let's celebrate those who paved the way for us to live longer. Black veganism is the move.
In honor of Black History Month, Genny Mack recognizes black veganism and black activists who have encouraged thousands of Black Americans to have healthier lifestyles.
How did black veganism get started? Many believe that scientist and inventor George Washington Carver initiated black veganism advocacy in America. While he never proclaimed to be a vegan or vegetarian, he believed in plant-based eating practices.
The modern Black veganism movement takes inspiration from black cultures like Jamaican Ital culture, through Rastafarianism, which movement began in the 1930s.
From there, black veganism and plant-based living would become a topic of conversation to fight oppression and social injustices. Black activists such as Dr. Alvenia Fulton, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Mary Keys Burgess began using radio, television, and books to promote veganism and vegetarianism to the black community during the 1950s and onwards.
Fast forward to the 21st century, black veganism is becoming the new norm for many black people to heal. Celebrities like Venus Williams, Pinky Cole (founder of Slutty Vegan), Tabitha Brown, Mya, and many more are advocates for veganism within the black community. Thanks to their promotion of plant-based eating over the years, the Pew Research Center revealed that 8% of African Americans identify as a vegan compared to 3% of the general population. Now that is a movement right there.
The reality is, the odds of access to quality public health, which is a basic human right, has not been afforded to us. The beautiful reality is that black people have always been able to envision a perfect world, irrespective of this.
What is my hope? According to the CDC, black people are dying from preventative and reversible diseases, like heart disease, 2x more than their counterparts. With the increased risk of chronic illnesses within the black community, a plant-based diet can improve our health. Period. Let’s change the narrative by continuing the conversation and starting the change within us. Eat foods from mother nature to nourish you.