Vegan Commodity Culture and Systemic Racism (When a cigar is more than just a cigar)

In January 2019, Dr. A. Breeze Harper gave a sold-out micro-workshop online titled, Lulu and the Lobster: How Systemic Racism and Anti-Blackness Affect Animal Advocacy Culture in the USA. Dr. Harper introduced concepts such as diversity & inclusion, racially hostile work climate, and systemic racism. She showed how such phenomenon operates in real life, exploring the dog sanctuary and veterinary work of a Black family living in California. Attendees left with introductory ways to create inclusive and equitable animal advocacy practices beyond cosmetic diversity.

In part 2 of this series, Corner Store Cigars and Artisanal Vegan Cheese, Dr. Harper will tackle diversity and inclusion through anti-racism pedagogies and vegan commodity culture (i.e., tofu, kale, vegan cookbooks, dairy-free cheese). Dr. Harper will help you upgrade your:

  1. diversity and inclusion framework within vegan commodity culture.

  2. engagement with vegan commodity culture for racial equity, non-human animal rights, and social impact.

An excerpt from the upcoming May 14 2019 webinar to pique your interest:

Bryant Terry is a Black and famous vegan, food justice activist, chef, and cookbook author deeply influenced by hip hop culture. After the release of vegan cookbook Thug Kitchen as well as when the Ferguson protest erupted, Terry wrote a CNN op-ed piece explaining how the ‘thug’ in Thug Kitchen was not a neutral term but a racialized one connected to “negrophobia” and the Black boogeyman. Within that same year, Terry responded to numerous white vegans on Facebook who were convinced that Michael Brown “deserved” to be shot and killed by the police for being a “thug” who supposedly stole a “cigar”. Let’s explore how the “cigar” becomes an object that narrates multiple stories about anti-Blackness within mainstream USA. I will lead with the question, “What would have happened if it had been kale, tofu, or artisanal vegan cheese? Would that have given Michael Brown closer proximity to ‘civilized’ whiteness within the imagination of those of the racial status quo who claimed he deserved to be killed?”

Attendees need not have taken the first webinar to benefit from this event. This webinar will be recorded and accessible after the live event if you are unable to attend. Recordings include audio and slides.

Limited Scholarships and Organizational Discounts Available. Contact Dr. Harper to inquire about this. Choices Individual $49.99 USD Small Org. (Up to 10) $350.00 USD Medium Org. (11-25) $600.00 USD Large Org. (25+) $1,050.00 USD

Never taken a workshop or heard Dr. Harper speak? Check out one of her most powerful anti-racism and intersectional justice lectures, given at Whidbey Institute in 2016 (below). Check out her groundbreaking book Sistah Vegan: Black Females Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society.


About Dr. A. Breeze Harper

Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a senior diversity and inclusion strategist for Critical Diversity Solutions, a seasoned speaker, and author of