Black Restaurant Week (@blackrestaurantweek) is a multi-city culinary movement celebrating Pan-African cuisine. In addition to spotlighting amazing food from Black owned restaurants, the movement supports FARMS (@f.a.r.m.s), an organization that seeks to help protect aging Black farmers from abusive practices and relieve hunger in rural communities. With the National Urban League hosting its summer conference in Indianapolis this week, it just made sense to team up with Black Restaurant Week to give Indianapolis its first taste of what this movement is about.
The first ever Indianapolis Black Restaurant Week is taking place July 21-28 and will showcase 15 restaurants with specially priced menus. Indianapolis joins 7 other cities currently engaged with this movement. Those cities include Houston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Oakland and Dallas. The food is certainly exciting but according to Co-Founder Warren Luckett (@w.luxe), this movement is much bigger. Their support of Black farmers through the FARMS organization is critical. Black farmers represent the most essential building block of Black people’s efforts to sustain ourselves, as a community. Further, the Black Restaurant Week movement has successfully worked with restauranteurs, caterers and other culinary entrepreneurs to expand their businesses through procurement and various other contracting opportunities.
This movement is bigger than food — it’s about Black entrepreneurs being able to sustain themselves and the community. Food is essential to life. It is also a huge driver of jobs and the larger economy. Agriculture, the grocery business and restaurant industry are responsible for millions of jobs and untold fortunes. Black people must get our share of it all, if we are to compete and create wealth. The Black Restaurant Week movement is connecting Black farmers to Black restauranteurs. Soul Food Market is opening a Black owned grocery store with all Black products. We are living in an era of unbridled possibilities, for Black people. What can’t we do? Let’s make sure this movement lives beyond a week or even one city, let’s make this a lifestyle.