Black Chefs Face Uphill Challenges in Food Industry

James Lindsay
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[Black Chefs]
Yahoo: "Black diasporic food plays a major role in the overall American experience, but for far too long, Black chefs, entrepreneurs and other experts in the food industry have been shut out and unable to find mainstream success."
Photo: YouTube

Rap Snacks CEO James Lindsay.

The Black Diaspora and its relationship with food is one full of rich heritage, culture and identity. And for centuries, Black people have used it to unify their communities and as a source of resistance and revolution.

Black diasporic food plays a major role in the overall American experience, but for far too long, Black chefs, entrepreneurs and other experts in the food industry have been shut out and unable to find mainstream success.

Yahoo Life spoke with three Black entrepreneurs who are shaking up the food industry by breaking down barriers and creating safe spaces for people of color.

“Growing up in the ’hood and understanding to make something out of nothing and our struggles has really helped ... to push past the issues that we’ve had early in our careers,” James Lindsay, CEO and founder of Rap Snacks, tells Yahoo Life. “That’s what’s helping all of us be very successful and, on top of that, adding that edge that they don’t understand yet.”

Nationwide, entrepreneurs of color are faced with a variety of hurdles when opening food businesses. In Philadelphia, for example, despite Black people making up 43 percent of the city’s population, only 2.5 percent of businesses are Black-owned.

The startling statistic is one of the biggest reasons why Lindsay, along with Pinky Cole and Master P, are fighting to have their stories told in the food industry.

Pinky Cole, creator of Slutty Vegan, says the most important part of getting your foot in the door as a Black entrepreneur in food is making sure you maintain authenticity through your story.

“I’m just a girl from East Baltimore ... but through all of my adversities, I always maintained my grip and my tenacity,” Cole says. “And that is my story, and because of my story, people want to be a part of my dream and want to help me to realize that dream.”

Read rest of story here: https://ca.style.yahoo.com/unmuted-master-p-minorities-food-business-214...

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