The New Vegan Flag: A Critical Race Perspective (GUEST POST: DR. MENEKA REPKA)

A Critical Race Perspective on the Vegan Flag

By Dr. Meneka Repka (Guest Contributor)

Source: Hakimi, G. (2017).  Vegan Flag  [Jpeg]. Retreived from (https://www.deqa.net/vegan-flag)

On June 9, 2017, Gad Hakimi released an official vegan flag with the intention of unifying the vegan movement and developing a clear and consistent “brand” for veganism.  The flag is freely available online and is meant to be shared widely as a mass-mediated image amongst vegans and other mainstream public spaces.  In a recent analysis of the emerging interest in the vegan flag, Frances McCormack  argues that the flag erroneously centers vegans, rather than nonhumans as a marginalized group, that it upholds a capitalist approach to veganism, and that it assumes that the vegan movement is currently in a state of unification.  Following McCormack, I would like to further problematize the flag from a critical race and de-colonial perspective.  I contend that the flag covertly upholds Western imperialist and racist ideology through its conceptualization as a flag, its dependence on Western linguistic and alphabetic conventions, and the symbolic associations of its colours. 

Primarily my concern with the vegan flag is that fundamentally, all flags are entangled with a historical colonialist narrative.   The notion of a flag to denote a symbolic and “legal” claim to land, resources, and peoples was popularized by Western societies and continues to function as a marker of Eurocentric power structures globally.  For racialized people, flags in general are a reminder of ownership and occupation, as well as the violence, genocide, and cultural theft that come along with colonization. In the current social and political climate, flags are also clearly aligned with the military industrial complex, a system that merges corporate interests with government and military to further entrench a colonial legacy.  In addition to upholding speciesism by displacing nonhumans from their natural homes and forcing them to participate in military activities, the immediate connotations of nationalism that are conjured by a flag are underpinned by the school to prison pipeline and an overrepresentation of racialized people in prison systems.  Therefore, marginalized groups remain subjugated as a result of what flags represent.  Even seemingly benign uses of flags, such as the Girl Guides flag, are still connected to colonial traditions and participate in a system that continues to uphold Western imperialism and values.  By ignoring this history and its residual effects, the vegan flag perpetuates the myth that a flag is an appropriate and universal tool to unify vegans of colour with the mainstream (white vegan) movement. 

In the vegan flag, the dominant visual element is a large “V” located in the center and extending to the top corners.  The “V” represents veganism in English and in other language systems that are Eurocentric in origin, but also signifies the colonization of ideas and language by Western cultures.  While the term “veganism” is still fairly new to mainstream Western discourse, there have been civilizations throughout history and around the globe that ate veganically and continue to celebrate their identities through the consumption of only plants.  Indigenous societies all over Africa, India (the Shakaharis for instance), Southeast Asia, and the Americas who use different language systems but have been eating veganically for centuries have been effectively erased by the this flag.  The idea of eating plants, through the dominance of a “V” becomes congruous with mainstream (white) veganism and is indicative of culturally coded assumptions of Eurocentrism and European alphabets as universal.

Finally, the ideas represented by the colour choices of the flag continue the embodiment of Eurocentric representations of reality and truth.  Although interpretations of colours and their meanings can vary, the designers state (without irony) on their official website that they chose white for its associations with “light, goodness, success, and beginning” and blue as symbolic of “heaven.”  Again, the idea of heaven is a primarily Eurocentric idea and eliminates many Eastern traditions.  Further, the obsession with white as an indicator of goodness and success has been used throughout history to oppress and subjugate people who do not meet the criteria to be racially “white.”  The reason the colour white can be accepted as symbolic of goodness and success is because “white” people have determined themselves to be inherently good and successful, implicitly reinforcing the colour black’s negative interpretations.  Thus, those who are not white must be better suited to life of enslavement and servitude. This paradigm is reinforced by the blazing white “V” on the vegan flag, reminding us that the vegan movement is a white movement, with the most dominant vegan voices being those that de-emphasize or ignore racism and other human struggles in the quest to forward animal rights.   


Bio: Meneka Repka, PhD is an instructor at Alberta College of Art and Design.  Her current research questions the neutrality of curricular discourse in Alberta by examining how dominant interests in the meat industry influence schools.  Prior to completing doctoral studies, she worked as a high school and junior high teacher.  Meneka’s research interests include: Animal liberation, Critical/Radical Animal Studies, Critical Sociology, Critical Race Studies, environmental sustainability, environmental education, discourse analysis, youth activism, and social justice education. 

2017 Negro Motorist Green-Book Needed: Black Anti-Racist Mama Traveling through Trump’s America

Someone wrote  5 long and separate comments on a blog article I wrote in 2013 in response to how I’m defining systemic racism vs. racial prejudice (I didn’t approve it, it was too vile); how I am explaining power + white racial privilege + discrimination = systemic racism in the US and explaining how it’s “nuanced” in understanding why there is the collective sentiment that non-whites can generally be ‘racially prejudice’ but not ‘racist’ (in drawing from the canon of critical race legal and critical race feminist studies. I do not condone either but have written how it ‘differs’ in terms of systems of power and privilege (institutions, structures, etc).

The person who contacted me went on a long vitriolic diatribe against Black identified and/or Muslim identified people and then said they would be reporting my blog to hate-watch group organizations because I clearly am anti-white an and implied here is ‘white genocide’. It must have taken them 45 minutes to write continuous comment rants with such vitriol and contempt for Muslims and Black people with their sick and twisted narratives ranging from Black and/or Muslims committing horrible sex acts to other sick twisted nonsense. So much rage and hate.

In 2017-18, As I travel to give my talks and workshops this year focused on “Black feminism, food ethics, and motherhood in ‘Trump’s America’”, with baby in tow, I wonder when or if one of these people will figure out when/where I’m talking , show up, and try to kill me. Seriously, I get some really sick and troubling comments that I don’t publish all the time. I am hoping that their bark is bigger than their bite and it’s just psychological terror and that they won’t take that next step of finding a weapon and my next speaking engagement. And looks like you don’t even need a gun or a knife or bomb these days, a car to hit people seems to do the trick “just fine” …

My dad still tells me how worried he is that I go around the country with my baby because of this reality. That’s what his parents were worried about when he was a younger man in their house, and what his grandparents worried about.

…Is this 1917 or 2017?

And the there are my white friends who keep on commenting why I focus ‘so much on racism’ or even tell me race/racism isn’t really a problem outside of the kkk/neo-nazis and how is it I can ‘find’ racism and white supremacy in veganism, animal rights, and buddhist sanghas in the USA. I “must” be mistaken or hallucinating.

When I wrote about animal rights/vegan mainstream groups silence around white supremacy (and their stance against it) it was white friends who privately or publicly asked me how their possibly could be concern or connection and why should I expect these groups to make their positions clear as anti-racist committed entities? (DOES NOT COMPUTE)

I am preparing to travel to the midwest and Trump territories (or shall I Say “terror-tories”) with my infant to continue talking about how racism and white supremacy operate at the systemic level and that it’s a spectrum/continuum this upcoming week. I will talk about the more subversive ways these operate and how it is ‘missed’ by those mainstream media outlets that are only focused on the ‘true’ racists and bigots as Nazis and KKK.

But don’t worry, after reading the up-teenth disgusting threatening, hateful, angry, enraged comment from someone who believes that researching and writing about systemic racism in the USA is equivalent to “white genocide”, I’ll just rest assure that it’s all in my head and I’ll default to the fantastical “white-splainer” world of letting a Black woman know she has nothing to worry about. (Now, let me bust out that Negro Motorist Green Book from 1940 that my grandparents used to use to figure out how I’ll navigate from Chicago O’Hare to Normal, IL– through the pinker and red counties which indicated they voted for Trump. )

Below is my latest project and what I’ll be talking about during my lecture circuit this year (if I can survive my travels through some parts of this country…)


Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

On Being Vegan and Being Bullied by Family: SisTot Vegan Review and Reading of T. Veg


Click below to purchase the book and check out my upcoming online event to fundraise for the Sistah Vegan Project which includes more of this SisTot Vegan book reading series.


Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

‘Trumpisms’, Black Mama Scholar, and Vegan Ethics

 


Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

Part II: AR/Vegan Groups Silence on Anti-Racism/Anti-White Supremacy Statement and Action Plans


Below is what I posted on August 16, 2017.

If you have not already done so,  urge your favorite and other USA based animals rights and / pro-vegan organizations to release an official statement and action plan on how they do not support white supremacy/racism(if they have not yet done this).

Urge them to not take the ‘cosmetic diversity‘ approach and to understand that racism can take on many forms, not just Neo Nazis and KKK groups (check out racial micro-aggressions and neoliberal racism for instance).

Urge them to commit to fighting against white supremacy and systemic racism in a way that integrates these into their organizational goals and values.

Urge them to learn how to operationalize racial equity ( as well as other forms of equities along gender, class, ability, sexual orientation, age, etc ).

Let them know that they cannot be neutral about the white [supremacist] elephant in the room (and that ‘room’ is a white settler nation called the USA in which the logics of white supremacy were its foundational CORE values and still operate today– from the logic of Neo-Nazis, to the logic of white savior complex, to the logic of racial profiling, to the logic of gentrification, to the logic of ‘tracking’ in K-12 education, to the logic of engaging in missionary language when campaigning about animal rights and veganism).

And on a similar note, if you know of pro-vegan and/or animal rights organizations and businesses that are mostly white led and constantly try to convert communities of color to ‘go vegan’, yet have not issued any statements and action plans that show a true commitment to fighting against a white supremacist USA racial caste system, call them out. Many of these entities  will claim that they don’t understand why their organization or business is “so white”, or that they can’t get non-white people “on board” , or that they are an equal opportunity employer and don’t need to talk more about racism– yet they continue to not make it clear that they are actively fighting against white supremacy/racism.

Hold them accountable and make sure they are not engaging in either possessive investment in whiteness or culturally competent racism while asking,  How could ‘we’ have let Trump happen?  

Hold them accountable if they have used images of Black people being lynched, Jewish people in the Holocaust, or Native American genocide to promote non-human animal rights but have yet to issue any action plan and/or statement of ongoing true solidarity with anti-racism and anti white-supremacists activists.

Hold them accountable if they continue to use racial micro-aggressions such as “All Lives Matter” yet have shown zero commitment to ending white supremacist racial caste system.

Hold them accountable when they tell you that talking about race is “divisive” and that “we all are oppressed”. Remind them that this is the same tactic and logic used when Trump makes the claim that there is “hate on many sides”, implying that to focus on white supremacy and racism is divisive if we are to bring the country together.

Do it now.

And same goes for non-vegan/non-AR groups, businesses etc. Urge them to do the same and if they don’t make it clear that they will, consider no longer supporting them until they make it clear that they will be committed to both anti-racism and anti-speciesism. Shift your support to the organizations and businesses that are powerhouses in their anti-racism/anti white-supremacy and anti-speciesism work.

Now.

To everyone in the struggle against white supremacy in the USA, from Charlottesville VA to Ella Baker Center in Oakland, CA, I will continue fighting. My heart goes out to the victims of the violence of white supremacist racism from last weekend in Charlottesville VA and the countless numbers of people in the USA over the last 5 centuries here. It is a continuum of violence that I hope will vanish within my lifetime.


Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award. She does diversity and inclusion consulting, training, and workshops with a focus on ethical consumption and animal-rights oriented organizations and businesses. Her upcoming event Black Mama Scholar in October 7 2017 is a live webcast that will speak critically about her work as an anti-racism activist and ethical vegan within the often racially hostile climate of mainstream veganism in the USA (and beyond).

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful and professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

Contact information: sistahvegan at gmail dot com

SUPPORT THE SISTAH VEGAN PROJECT’S LATEST BOOKS AND EVENTS

Black Mammyism in Mainstream Veganism and Beyond

This was in 2011. I finished my PhD in 2013. But I wanted to reshare this video about Black Mammyism. I will reflect on this in my new book/talk event October 7, 2017 (see details after the video) .

Below is my upcoming event and information about my latest book project which, for the first time in my life, incorporates humor into the serious topics of Black feminism, veganism, food ethics, and Black motherhood. If you liked the above video, maybe you’d like to check out my more critical approaches to not just pregnancy and motherhood as a Black woman, but as a Black feminist scholar dabbling in the ethical foodscape over the past 12 years.


Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

Vegan Pregnancies Risky? Black Mama Scholar (A.K.A. Sistah Vegan) Speaks

Hi there. Me, Black Mama Scholar (aka Sistah Vegan) does a review of a vegan pregnancy book by Reed Mangels which is also in direct response to Nina Planck’s article from 5 years ago that makes the claim that a vegan pregnancy is risky. Since recording this video, I have had 2 more vegan pregnancies/homebirths and I was absolutely fine (and so were by babies). Baby #4 was a whopping 10lb on a vegan diet.

Below is my upcoming event and information about my latest book project which, for the first time in my life, incorporates humor into the serious topics of Black feminism, veganism, food ethics, and Black motherhood. If you liked the above video, maybe you’d like to check out my more critical approaches to not just pregnancy and motherhood as a Black woman, but as a Black feminist scholar dabbling in the ethical foodscape over the past 12 years.


Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

Racial Tension, Nutritional Support, and Stress of Being the ‘Token’

If you dug this video, check out my upcoming event that is online and set for October 7 2017. The event will about my latest book project which, for the first time in my life, incorporates humor into the serious topics of Black feminism, veganism, food ethics, and Black motherhood.

Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

Funny. Google AdSense thinks anti-racism writing is in ‘violation’ of their discrimination rules

Google AdSense thinks anti-racism writing is in ‘violation’ of their rules. It’s amazing how I have never been able to fully access the potential to earn money through using Google AdSense since last year when I signed up. They keep on telling me that what I post violates their rules. Seems like whenever I post about white supremacy, racism, experiences with being called ‘nigger’, etc they mark my page as in violation because they think that I am engaging in racist activity. Until I remove the content that is in ‘violation’, I can’t get full access to what I earned. But, that means I would need to remove a lot of what I have written which doesn’t make any sense.
As someone who doesn’t understand the computer language/logic/algorithms that determine what is in violation, can someone explain how Google AdSense finds anti-racism writing a ‘violation’ and the SAME as a blog post by actual white supremacist Nazis?
I get these messages from Google AdSense all the time. After writing my post about Culturally Competent Racists, I was sent the message below.
It’s funny. I am written by real people (not machines) all the time that when I engage in anti-racism work I am racist for bringing the subject of race up.
When I blogged about attending a Buddhist retreat for women of the African Diaspora to embark on healing from living in a racist society/anti-Black society I was told that my participation in it was racist since it was exclusive.
It’s 2017. Google, it’s actually quite shocking that the program that determines what is in violation– in terms of  hatred and anti-discriminatory policies– doesn’t function properly. My mind fantasizes about what computer programming would look like if it came out of those also highly literate in social and restorative justice, intersectionality, Black Marxism, critical race feminism, etc. You know, that whole horrible SJW gamut (LOL)?
There is so much emphasis on the ‘gender gap’ in hiring in Silicon Valley. It’s as if the problem of diversity, inclusivity, and equity will be magically solved if more skilled women are hired into non-traditional/leadership roles– and let’s face it, they’re talking about recruiting white cisgender women who are assumed to want the same advantages as mostly white men in SV who aren’t necessarily focused on dismantling a white supremacist racial and capitalist caste system.
Most troubling to me is that I received the message on August 29 2017— several weeks after the Charlottesville tragedy. I thought maybe they’d tried to hone in on making sure they can detect actual white supremacist racists who are espousing violence and hate towards anyone who isn’t them while making sure their programming logic supports anti-racism/anti white-supremacy
(No, don’t tell me that this isn’t their responsibility. If it’s not their’s , then who should be responsible?). But hey, I guess they are kind of behind on this (sigh).
And no, I’m not looking too deeply into this.
When I commute from Berkeley to SFO Airport many times a year to travel to give talks about anti-racism, I am bombarded with never-ending ads on how machine learning, data science, app engineers are needed to create a better future for technology which will then supposedly create a better society for all. 
And on August 29 2017 I receive yet another message that the social justice/anti-racism work I’m doing to create a more just society is in violation of Google’s policies because it appears to their machines that I’m espousing hatred, bigotry, etc.
[Metallic robot voice]
“Does not compute”
…”Does not compute”
…. “Talking about race is racist….You are in violation of not upholding neoliberal whiteness that Silicon Valley relies on…”
Anyway, back to trying to resolve this (sigh)….

Below is my upcoming event and information about my latest book project which, for the first time in my life, incorporates humor into the serious topics of Black feminism, veganism, food ethics, and Black motherhood.

Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

Ticket Options


If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

and

 

Abusive Relationships…’even’ in Vegan, Animal Rights, Buddhist, and Anti-Racism Spaces

 

Photo of me during a week of stress that I eventually realized was from abusive interactions with ‘colleagues’ engaged in social justice/animal rights. Major bags under those eyes.

Abusive relationships are incredibly exhausting and repetitively traumatizing— whether it be one’s mother, romantic partner, boss, work colleague, friend, or teacher. Particularly horrendous are the ways in which the abuser is able to narrate to themselves that THEY are the victim. Not enough empirical data and other forms of professional research you provide them that PROVE they are acting abusive rarely, if ever, will convince them that their behavior is ABUSIVE. From professors I have had, to work colleagues, to supposed ‘friends’, abusive relationships are more than Hollywood’s stereotypical depictions of some [usually white] guy wearing a sleeve less t shirt beating his spouse or children. I’d like to find more information about narcissistic abusive people who are ‘charming’ and are well hidden in what would be considered more ‘ethical’ spaces like religious organizations, animal rights venues, social justice organization, etc.

My mind was always confused when I’d encounter what SHOULD be an ‘ethical’ and ‘compassionate’ person but they seemed ABUSIVE… but how could they be “wife beater guy” when they were Buddhist monks, or vegans who would die on the front lines for non-human animals, or were in the anti-racism movement for decades fighting against white supremacy?

I am still blown away by when I wanted to tell a Buddhist priest about a well known Buddhist guru. This guru had a well known history of sexual misconduct and I wanted to reveal the identity to the priest. The priest kindly asked me not to reveal the identity since he didn’t think it was productive. I guess I’d ‘hurt’ the Buddhist movement if it was revealed who he was. It was 5 years ago but still, I can’t believe I believed that it was the moral thing to do; to protect the abuser because this Buddhist priest suggested that revealing this person’s identity was pointless. And this Buddhist guru still continues to do his work and have ample amount of support and students. (Can you say spiritual bypassing?)

Hollywood narrated a completely different image of abuse to me as a child and late teen, so I didn’t have the holistic literacy to understand continuums and spectrums of abusive patterns.

And growing up in a culture of the USA in which carceral and corporal punishment are the NORM for controlling and abusing people (check out Discipline and Punishment as well as info about carceral societies), I didn’t realize it was embedded in many of my closest relationships. I had internalized that I must deserve to be physically and emotionally ‘punished’ for not doing what the abuser said I should do. For not being what they wanted me to be in order to fill some deeply troubled hole in their insecure soul.

It wasn’t until I started reading about the intricacies of abusive relationships and narcissist abusive traits in the past year (for my book project) that I realized that what I had and continue to experience throughout my life’s relationships (colleagues, schoolmates, friendships, etc) have been incredibly abusive and have left deep scars on my psyche that I didn’t even know were there. I had no idea I was traumatized by these relationships/interactions because I was never given the literacy tools to know that that was what was going on. It’s one big mind-fuck.

As I write my memoir/activist book Black Mama Scholar, and look over 30 journals I have filled the pages in, I can’t believe how many– mostly white people and/or men who constantly abused and gaslighted me while I tried to engage in social justice, vegan, and anti-racism work…. as well as the colleagues in earlier stages of my tech.com (early 2000s) life as a quality software engineer that were abusive and then turned it around to make it as if they were the victim by me simply being their in THEIR epistemological/physical space as Black, feminist, and woman.


 

Below is my upcoming event and information about my latest book project which, for the first time in my life, incorporates humor into the serious topics of Black feminism, veganism, food ethics, and Black motherhood.

Despite having brown skin and being a “melanated peoples”, I burn in the sun in approximately 5 minutes. It can be as ‘cool’ as 69 degrees Fahrenheit and I will burn…My mother used to always joke, “You would have made a horrible field slave”, which kind of makes perfect sense. She has always enjoyed calling me an Oreo since I was a tween. Oreo was then promoted to the affectionate label of Oreo Double Stuff by the time I had graduated from high school in 1994 and I had been accepted into a gazillion PWIs like Smith College, Tufts University, Bryn Mawr, and Dartmouth College.  I vividly remember when I first discovered the Four Seasons when I was 14 years old. I asked my mother if she could buy it for me on CD. Boy was she elated that I was inquiring about the Four Seasons…. Except she thought that I misspoke and that I must have meant the Black Motown group The Four Tops (Yes, I meant some music composed by a dead white Italian man). #blackcardrejected #notauthenticallyblack

How did I get from being a white cream filled dark sandwich cookie with two left feet and an unhealthy obsession with Anton Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to being told I’m uber ‘articulate’ and ‘non-threatening’ in post-racial vegan venues? I could tell this story from so many vantage points. I thought long and hard about it, writing draft after draft, dropping some heavy critical theory sh$t from Angela Davis, to Frantz Fanon, to Charles Mills. But every time I tried to do this, it just wouldn’t work out. Critical theory takes deep concentration, plenty of sleep, and mental acuity….

…which is hella blown out of the water when you’ve got 4 damn kids– a 6 month old, a 3 year old, a 5 year old (the middle one with a damn freaking attitude and a propensity for sticking her hand in the monkey jar) and an 8 year old who continuously interrupt your prophetic destiny to be a  scholar with such greatness and [can’t think of an intelligent word because my 5 year old just came outside screaming and running towards me, naked, holding a bowl of Cheerios] that would make Sara Ahmed’s rumination on phenomenology and post-colonialism look like simple nursery school rhymes. #badphenomenologyjokes

-Dr. A. Breeze Harper. Draft from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (2018).

In a delightful and humorous, yet deeply critical talk, Dr. A. Breeze Harper will ruminate on the past 12 years of her activism and scholarship as well as read excerpts from her upcoming book Black. Mama. Scholar: On Black Feminism, Food Ethics, and Toddler Tantrums in a ‘Post-Racial’ Era (formerly titled Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches). Get ready for a different side of A. Breeze Harper, PhD, as she uses a fusion of satire and critical race feminism to explore just how “post-racial” we are– in veganism and beyond.

This is a fundraising event for the Sistah Vegan Project. Register for the Live Lecture with Q&A below.

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If you can’t make her live webcast but are interested in inviting her to give a talk and/or workshop at your organization or university, contact her at bookbreezeharper@gmail.com .



Dr. A.Breeze Harper (Credit: Pax Ahimsa Gethen 2016)

Dr. Harper is the creator and editor of the first of its kind book about veganism and race: Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society(Lantern Books 2010).

Dr. Harper holds a PhD in social science from University of California Davis (with an emphasis in Black Feminisms, Critical Theories of Race, and Ethical Consumption). She has a Masters degree in Educational Technologies from Harvard University, with emphasis on Black Feminisms. Her thesis earned her the prestigious Dean’s award.

Dr. Harper’s most recently published book, A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (Sense Publishers 2014) interrogates how systems of oppression and power impact being a Black teenager living in an all white and working class rural New England town. She has taught university staff and students how to use the book as a tool to develop literacy around unconscious bias and understand how deeply impactful systemic racial and socio-economic inequities are.

After observing numerous white vegans making the claim that race doesn’t matter (i.e. the passive-aggressive responses to Black Lives Matter with “All Lives Matter”) , Dr. Harper organized the highly successful professional conference The Praxis of Black Lives Matter. The conference taught participants how to operationalize racial equity during an era of Black Lives Matter with a focus on plant-based foodie culture like veganism and raw foodism. 

In 2016, Dr. Harper collaborated with Oakland’s FoodFirst’s Executive Director Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez to write the report Dismantling Racism in the Food System, which kicked off FoodFirst’s series on systemic racism within the food system. Dr. Harper is well-known for her talks and workshops  about “Operationalizing Racial Equity” and  “Intersectional Anti-Racism” in ethical consumption, which were given at top universities this past year (University of Chicago, Stanford University, and Penn State to name a few). 

You can check out Dr. Harper’s 2016 talk at Whidbey Institute below about Uprooting White Fragility in the Ethical Foodscape as well as the University of Oregon-Eugene talk Reading Food Objects: A Black Feminist Materialist Reading of Scars in Oregon.

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