“Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.”
– Guy Fieri
DISCLAIMER: This post is strictly the opinion of the author.
Cities all over the country are participating in Black Restaurant Weeks as a way to create awareness for local, independent and/or minority owned restaurants and give them the publicity and patronage that they usually don’t or never have gotten. Its a way to support community, diversity, and entrepreneurship. Buffalo has jumped on board for it’s second annual Black Restaurant Week (BRW), organized by the Buffalo Urban League Young Professionals (BULYP), of which I am a proud member. Even though the initiative is promoting a positive message of celebrating entrepreneurship and supporting local, there has been a great deal of push back. Many people were “in their feelings” calling BRW ignorant, saying it was poorly publicized, questioning why it had to be BLACK restaurant week, and actually had the nerve to say it was racist….
Racism (n.)- Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. – Oxford Dictionary
Racism (n.) – a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race. – Merriam Webster Dictionary
Racist (n.)- a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that one’s own racial group is superior or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others. – Dictionary.com
Racist (n.) – the true definition is believing that one race is superior to all others. Hatred, without reason, of another race. ETC… – Urban Dictionary
Yes it highlights minority restaurant owners…..Buuuuut….No one said ONLY Black people could participate….although it was still Black History month…and people still gotta eat….
BRW is no different than the many other festivals and events Buffalo has celebrating the melting pot of cultures within the community (Greek Festival, Italian Festival, Polish Festival, Gay Pride Parade, Grease Pole (Puerto Rican) Festival, Juneteeth, etc…).
Sooo I don’t know why people had issues, but it seemed like personal problems….
Just like WNY’s Local Restaurant Week (shout out to Phat Catz for being a new participant with mouth watering cuisine lol), I looked at BRW as an opportunity to try some new places. Honestly, half the places on the list I’ve never been to or heard of. So it was great being able to show support and at the same time link up with young professionals to expand my network.
I know year three is gonna be the bomb.com. The registration link for 2020 is already up and it seems like there’ll be more participating restaurants.
So, If people STILL have an issue, they should really do some self reflection ***in my Social Worker voice*** and dive deep into what has happened in their lives to make them feel the way they do. How bout let’s actually try being “The City of Good Neighbors” and focus on continuing cultural exchanges, celebrating entrepreneurship, and supporting locally owned businesses…..minority or otherwise.