Anti-racism & Centering Black and Brown Voices

Anti-racism & Centering Black and Brown Voices2022-03-07T16:02:32-08:00

Daydreamers, there is a ton of racist nonsense in coffee. Especially fancy coffee.

Maybe you heard about the time the cops were called on two guys in Philly for no good reason a.k.a. “implicit bias” at Starbucks, but how about this despicable, explicit racism at La Marzocco? Or this from down under? And these are just the few cases that gain notoriety. Folks of color have to deal with more than you realize at the coffee counter, overt offenses and micro aggressions alike, both to-and-from customers, colleagues, and staff.

In the interest of centering the voices of black and brown people, please take some time to watch/listen to the BLACK COFFEE series put out by Michelle Johnson of The Chocolate Barista (throw some bread in @meeshalrj‘s jar) and Sprudge. This is a series of three panels featuring black and brown folks in coffee, including Ian from Deadstock here in Portland. Recorded in 2018, this is a must for anyone who loves or works in coffee. Thanks, Ms. Johnson.
White folks: please listen to the whole thing (especially the Q&A portion of the Portland panel). For real.

Black Coffee Portland

Black Coffee NYC

Black Coffee DC

Our commitment to ongoing work:
  • We are proud to have raised more than $700 for Don’t Shoot Portland, and are working to integrate regular donations to organizations that have a positive, tangible impact on the lives of Black and brown folks here in Portland, Oregon.
  • We have ordered our first set of anti-racist books for the free library from Eye See Me – a Black-owned bookstore in Missouri. We plan to rotate these purchases to different Black-owned book stores around the country.
  • We are currently owner-operated, and will develop a plan for equitable hiring, and to train incoming employees to create a genuinely welcoming environment and experience for our intersectionally diverse guests. Additionally, we are personally committed to undoing internalized white supremacy and the ills of systemic racism.
The time is now to learn, unlearn, heal, and act.
It will be a deeply personal act, but if you’ve been living in white skin, the work is yours.
This is just the beginning.

Ready to dig in but not sure where to start? Here are a few Google docs that serve as jumping off points:

Anti-racist Resource Guide by Victoria Alexander

Scaffolded Anti-racist Resource Guide

(Thanks for reading. Please note this page is a work in progress. Please check back for updates.)