Today, we’re highlighting 4 Black vegan women who create some of the most genuine, inspiring, and truly enjoyable content on all of social media! Though they are all different ages, went vegan at different points in their lives, and came from different backgrounds, the one thing they have in common is their recipes, videos, and voices are changing the damn world.
When I was deciding who to add to this week’s post highlighting more incredible Black vegan content creators, I wanted to find some sense of unity among them. I didn’t want to just throw together random people on a post.
As I researched further, I just knew these four strong Black women needed to be presented together. Taken separately, however, they couldn’t seem more random.
They’re of different ages and backgrounds. Some are newer vegans less than two years; some over a decade. A couple are global superstars; a couple are relatively unknown. But what unifies these four is just how inspiring I truly found all of them to be.
Seriously, when I was researching this post, some days I just cried purgative tears thinking “Why am I crying when she makes me feel so good about myself by saying such nice things?!” Then I just felt, well, lighter than I did before.
These four Black vegan women radiate a sense of warmth and love through their videos, their recipes, their messages, their lives. And it’s a love they love to share with you. And it’s a love they hope you’ll share with others. So today, I want to share them, and their messages of love, with you.
Let’s begin with the woman described best by one viewer as “everyone’s favorite vegan aunt.”
Finally, something good came out of 2020: Tabitha Brown made a TikTok.
And less than 6 weeks later she found herself with over 2 million (yes, that’s million) followers! As of this writing she now has over 4 million followers on TikTok. Along with her ever-growing 278K YouTube subscribers and her 2.6 million followers on Instagram, I believe that raises her to Queen status!
You know that relaxed, comforted feeling you get when you put on your favorite sweatshirt or oversized sweater fresh out of the dryer and watch a gentle rain through the window while sipping a great cup of coffee? That’s the feeling you get when you watch Tabitha Brown.
Her genuine, sincere personality always shines through, and you instantly find yourself feeling better than you were a few moments before. Feeling down? “Honey, come on in the room” and visit with Tabitha Brown.
Tabitha started her career as an actress and stand-up comic (among other jobs that actors and stand-up comics do). However, she had to put her career on hold after she began suffering from debilitating chronic pain and fatigue and a resting, radiating headache that lasted continuously for over a year and a half. She said she felt as if she were dying.
In 2017, at her daughter’s recommendation, she tried a vegan diet for 30 days. As she says, “I tried everything else… why not?”
On day 10 of her challenge, the headache went away. And Tabitha Brown was renewed, revitalized, and reborn!
How Tabitha Brown Rose to Social Media Queen Status
So how did she come to find herself among the reigning queens of social media?
Her meteoric rise to icon status all began when she took a lunch break from driving Uber, really liked a certain vegan sandwich, and thought everybody needed to know about it.
And apparently, everybody did!
The video went viral so quickly. When she got home just a few hours later, it had 50,000 views. When she woke the next morning: 100,000 views.
She told her husband, “I think I’m going viral.” He said, “What does that mean?” And she answered, “I don’t know.”
The video and the sandwich became so popular that Brown quickly found herself as a spokesperson and ambassador for the maker of said sandwich: Whole Foods. Yes, THAT Whole Foods.
The rest, as they say, is history… or rather, her story.
First, we are so glad you, Tabitha, have gotten better and no longer suffer from whatever that illness was. Secondly, we are so glad you have graced us with your love and warmth. You make this world a better place every day, and you inspire others to do the same.
Hail, Queen Tabitha. Long may you reign supreme.
Shakayla Houston’s mission as Sweet Greens Vegan is to “make meatless Mondays more fun.” Her growing collection of amazing-looking recipes looks like it would do JUST that!
After deciding she wanted to “completely change” what she was putting into her body, Shakayla went vegan in January 2018. Ever since, she has been sharing her story, her journey, and her delicious (and sometimes properly messy – looking at you Vegan Pulled Pork Sliders) recipes along the way.
Houston says she believed growing up in the Midwest and going to school in the South, that going vegan might prove challenging for her. Apparently not.
With reviews, guides, and of course, recipes, Sweet Greens Vegan is helping to show ANY cuisine can be made vegan.
For being a somewhat newer site, her page already offers a great variety of wonderful dishes, including this sausage gravy. And you know we’ll just HAVE to try this one based on principle alone: The Philly Cheesesteak.
Along with all the great recipes on her site, SG Vegan also offers brief travel guides and restaurant reviews/suggestions for a wide variety of cities. Some are already available, and some are coming soon.
You know I just HAD to check out the Philly Guide while I was there. The jawn’s legit.
We are so excited to see what comes next from this amazing vegan blogger!
In 2016, Jessica Hylton-Leckie left her job as a practicing attorney to start Jessica in the Kitchen.
Just a few short years later, her website now includes over 600 vegan recipes based on the premise that “food tastes its best when you cook it simply, yet deliciously.” Jessica, we couldn’t agree more.
Her “mostly gf” recipes are also on beautiful display on her Instagram. And now might be a good time to mention that Jessica is also an award-winning photographer. So get yourself over there and check out her absolutely gorgeous photos!
You can also find many of her recipes in one-minute(ish) abbreviated overview form on her growing YouTube channel.
Speaking of her recipes, as soon as I saw this decadent-looking chocolate cake I knew I would have to make it! I’ll let you know how it goes, but she says she’s been making it over 10 years and served it to “hundreds of people.” So it’s as time-tested as it is tasty looking!
More Than Recipes
Jessica in the Kitchen also incorporates great vegan travel guides and holiday roundups as well as some really helpful general cooking tips.
For example, have you ever thought to test your yeast before making something as delicious as say this no-knead Dutch Oven bread? Can you imagine waiting for that beautiful baked bounty only to have it not come out right because you had weak yeast?
I have NO idea how old the yeast in our cabinet is. But I can guarantee I’ll be using her trick to see if it’s still good!
Jessica has SO many delicious looking recipes on her site it’s almost impossible to narrow down what we want to try first. But this slow-cooker Tofu Butter Chicken is definitely contending with these Bang Bang Broccoli Bites! Probably after the cake!
Anyway, are we so glad Jessica left the courtroom to be “in the kitchen”? Guilty as charged.
Have you ever started to read about someone and immediately begin to re-evaluate your entire life and all the things you haven’t done? I mean, how often can you start a brief bio on someone still in their teens with “Well, here’s what Michelle Obama has to say about her”?
Haile Thomas’ list of accomplishments is as long as she is young. At 19, Haile is, among many, MANY other things, an internationally-known and respected motivational and wellness speaker. She’s also a vegan food and compassion activist, CEO and founder of the non-profit HAPPY org., author, and recipe creator.
Anyway, here’s what Michelle Obama had to say about her when Haile created one of the winning entries for the White House Kids’ State Dinner in 2012 – when she was 11: “Haile is an example for all of you, what your … voices can do to change the world.”
Haile is also the youngest person to ever graduate as a certified Nutrition Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A feat she accomplished at the ripe old age of 16.
A Compassionate Star is Born
But Haile was only half that age when she and her younger sister Nia started a cooking show for children because they wanted to teach them how to cook more healthily. This is something they had learned to do themselves when their father was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a couple years earlier and they wanted to cook better for him.
Haile also learned many children were being diagnosed with these food-related diseases in the U.S. And, being the incredible person she is, she wanted to help them. With that, a compassionate star was born.
I was tremendously fortunate to come across this old one-minute promo video for the sisters’ show. This has quickly found its place in the top ten cutest things I have ever seen in my life. I think you’ll agree.
Speaking of videos, her YouTube channel is just FILLED with a wide variety of videos covering everything from recipes, to travel, to motivating and inspiring as well as humorous videos.
You have to make sure you see both (yes, both) Haile’s TedTalks.
Even at 10 years old, Haile offers a lot of wisdom as she discusses the gourmet chef in every child. You’ll be sitting there thinking “Aaaawwww, isn’t she just so … full of knowledge and essential information! Boy, and I was going to say ‘cute’.”
The speech she gives at 16 is a beautiful, eloquent message on nurturing your passions and finding your special talents by giving of ourselves to others. She was sixteen!! I cried a little. It was cathartic.
It’s people like Haile who actually give me some hope for the future. I can’t wait to see what greatness Haile’s 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. bring with them. If she has accomplished all this in the past 10 years as a “child,” the world better get out of her way as an adult.
I have been SO inspired by these four Black vegan women, and I want to sincerely thank them for that.
Thank you, Tabitha, Shakayla, Jessica, and Haile. You have changed my world and truly given me a blessing.
These four wonderful women are going to change your life and the whole damn world. I’m sure if you take the time to check them out, you will be inspired to be inspired too. And maybe you’ll inspire someone else. And maybe that’s what it’s all about.
I know I already want to set aside a nice weekend day to make either that chocolate cake or those jackfruit-stuffed crescent bombs. Maybe both. Then, I’m going to sit and eat and scroll through more of this inspiring, uplifting content. And maybe cry a little.
Tell us in the comments: Do you follow any of these 4 badass Black vegan women? What are your favorite recipes, videos, etc. from them?!