Soul food may not be the first thing you envision when people bring up vegan cuisine. The Official Black Lives Matter Memphis chapter is out to change that perception for residents of the Smokey City neighborhood in North Memphis with its Vegan Soul Food Cookout this Saturday, July 23rd.
The cookout will be held at the 901 Evolution Community Garden located near the corner of Pearce and Keel starting at 11 am. The event will feature vegan soul food and desserts served by Two Vegan Sistas, Ras Irie Vegan Kitchen, and Pink Diva Cupcakery and Cuisine.
Cassi Conyers, owner of Pink Diva Cupcakery and Cuisine says that when she was asked to participate, she was immediately on board.
“It’s my goal as a vegan restaurant owner to break the myth that vegan food is bland and unaffordable.” She looks forward to sharing her signature cupcakes as well as an avocado and kale salad that she describes as “refreshing, light and perfect for summer.”
The Vegan Soul Food Cookout is an initiative led by the Environmental Chapter of BLM Memphis. Artist and activist Patrick Ghant explained that the Environmental Chapter’s purpose is to “introduce a healthier lifestyle to impoverished black communities that wouldn’t normally have access to healthier food choices and a cleaner environment.”
Ghant says they are also currently working on starting community gardens in areas of North Memphis, such as Smokey City, so that people who live in food desert areas have some form of access to healthier food.
Other initiatives include working with the City to help keep our communities clean, studying components of environmental racism and law that directly affect the predominantly black communities, identifying any aspects of those aforementioned themes that negatively impact the health of the black communities, and working towards solutions to those issues.