Throughout International Women’s Month, Chowhound is sharing stories from and about a wealth of women entrepreneurs, businesses, chefs, and cookbook writers who have all found success in the food space. Here, find in-depth interviews with five black vegan women activists you should know.
While the majority of the mainstream public may not be aware, many black activists have been an integral part of the vegan movement since it began several decades ago. Coretta Scott King and Dick Gregory are just a couple well-known names who paved the way for the mainstream vegan movement that is now unstoppable. We spoke with five leading black women activists in the modern vegan sphere to learn what motivates them, and get their tips for making the transition to veganism easier for everyone.
Use the links below to jump to an introduction to each woman who shared her time and thoughts with us, then check out their in-depth interviews for more on their personal vegan stories, their tips on how to make going vegan easier, and what they wish everyone knew about being vegan.
- Meet Tracye McQuirter
- Meet Chef Rain Truth
- Meet Dr. A. Breeze Harper
- Meet Tabitha Brown
- Meet Jenné Claiborne
Tracye McQuirter is an award-winning author, speaker, activist, public health nutritionist, and vegan trailblazer. Throughout her 33 years as a vegan, she has written multiple books and led the way for many others to follow in her footsteps. Her most recent endeavor is the 10,000 Black Vegan Women movement. She spoke with us about that and more.
Chef Rain Truth
Chef Rain Truth, founder of The Cultured Vegan, is a classically trained chef, entrepreneur, and business owner. She has been a leader in the vegan community for more than 22 years, and now she is raising three vegan children. Chef Truth contributed to the first African American Vegan Starter Guide created by Tracye McQuirter, and is currently gearing up for the 3rd Annual Midwest Vegan Fest (a free annual fest that’s celebrated by thousands of people and which she created).
Dr. A. Breeze Harper
Dr. A. Breeze Harper is a leader who wears many hats. She is a national speaker who has given many workshops and is a critical race feminist scholar in cultural food studies. She is also a strategic diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant with a heavy focus on animal rights, tech, and plant-based foods sectors. She edited “Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society” and her social fiction book “Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in White Rural New England” was groundbreaking in how it used food and veganism to explore racial oppression and rural identities.
Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society by A. Breeze Harper, $14.39 on Amazon
She’s currently at work on her third book, “Seeds of Sankofa,” which she describes as “Afro-futuristic framing of what it means to have a future of veganism in the USA within the rubric of racial capitalism; the premise being that you can have an entirely vegan USA and still have human oppression as long as capitalism (especially based on the antebellum plantation model) exists as the only economic system.”
As an accomplished vegan food influencer and actress who still considers herself a small town girl from North Carolina, Tabitha Brown is known for her honest comedic food reviews, live cooking shows on Facebook, funny stories, and inspirational social media posts that garner the attention of millions of people. Although she has played many parts on television and film and loves reaching others through her influencer work, she finds a lot of joy in helping others see food differently. At present, she’s “collaborating with a few networks for special recipes, creating a positive family reality show, and also working on a scripted comedy as America’s Mom all while continuing to just be me!”
Jenné Claiborne has made a name for herself with the popular vegan cooking blog Sweet Potato Soul—not to mention her YouTube channel of the same name, and the “Sweet Potato Soul” cookbook that compiles some of her best Southern-style vegan recipes.
Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenne Claiborne, $14.99 on Amazon
After she went vegan, Claiborne felt better on a physical and emotional level and wanted to share the benefits she received and the things she learned with others. Clearly, she’s doing an amazing job of that.
Header image courtesy of mixetto / E+ / Getty Images