Hey, friends!! T here, and today I am SO excited to present the first of many, many posts celebrating the wonderful diversity within our vegan community!
Today, we are highlighting 5 of our favorite Black creators in the vegan food space. Some are food bloggers, many are cookbook authors and cooking show hosts (one with a SINGING cooking show), and ALL create completely drool-worthy vegan recipes.
I think you’re really in for a treat, so let’s get started!
Without question the most famous of today’s highlighted vegans, Bryant Terry still seems somehow relatively unknown in large parts of the vegan community. He came across our radar some years back when we first went vegan and found some of his amazing cookbooks.
Particularly, I am a huge fan of Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen and Afro-Vegan. As soon as I opened these books, I immediately fell in love with his recipes. They’re a fantastic blend of Southern, African, and Caribbean plant-based dishes.
Also, each recipe offers an inspired accompanying musical (and sometimes book) selection to check out. For example, Terry pairs his Creole Spice Blend from Afro Vegan with “Creole” by The Charlie Hunter Quartet (f. Mos Def… who is, I believe, at least vegetarian if not vegan).
A Beard Foundation award-winning chef, Bryant Terry has been the chef-in-residence at San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) for the past five years.
Terry, a practicing Buddhist and food justice advocate who grew up in Memphis but now lives in Oakland with his family, recently released his fifth cookbook, Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes, which he dedicated to his two daughters. We’ll definitely be checking it out!
While I didn’t find any YouTube channel proper for Terry, if you search “Bryant Terry” you’ll find some wonderful interviews and a very inspiring Ted Talk.
One of my favorite moments of research for this post was finding a YouTube clip from an interview Terry did. In it, he explained his transformation to a vegan lifestyle. He credited the song “Beef” by KRS-One (also a vegan and among the favorite artists of mine in the realm of old school hip-hop) and started dropping the lyrics in the interview!
Atlanta-raised Jenné Claiborne, author of Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul: A Cookbook, delivers more than just delicious recipes on her website and YouTube channel.
With Sweet Potato Soul, Jenné Claiborne brings her audience a tremendously diverse variety of topics. With ALL that she brings to the table, anyone is sure to find something they can love and learn from.
Claiborne offers budgeting and shopping advice, meal prep plans, food storage suggestions (like this great one for making your fresh produce last longer), and yes, mouth-watering recipes.
And in case you were wondering, no, they do not all contain sweet potatoes! But these decadent-looking Sweet Potato Chocolate Muffins just happen to.
Jenné also has videos and blogs for the beginner vegan and a whole section on pregnancy and parenting tips with vegan values.
Also: I don’t know if you’re familiar with the 1989 Urban Dance Squad song “Deeper Shade of Soul ,” but I’ve had that stuck in my head for days but replacing the main lyrics with “Sweet Potato Soul.”
Gabrielle Reyes is “One Great Vegan,” and we are SO glad to have come across her “musical cooking experience”. When B first told me of her singing cooking show (you read that correctly), I have to say the word “intrigued” does not begin to describe my feelings.
What. A. Joy.
Seriously. At first I was thinking, “This is a little strange”. Then, I realized B and I pretty much do similar things rolling along in our kitchen. That’s when I embraced the weirdness and fell in love with the show. Along with being one great vegan, Reyes is also one great singer!
Improvising songs and riffs in the moment on WHATEVER she feels like or happens to be doing at the time, her show is as sweet a treat as these Caramel Covered Chocolate Chunk Brownies we are just dying to try!
She can keep singing her recipes, but we’re going to keep singing her praises! Find Gabrielle at “One Great Vegan” across alllll the social media platforms.
“What the hell is a mukbang?” I asked B.
“Just watch.” is all she replied.
So off I went.
When I returned much later, my eyes were filled with tears and my cheeks hurt from laughing. I LOVE this family!!
The LA-based family of HD, Marie, and their two children Alohnna and Dareion – who are both as entertaining as they are intelligent – are the stars of the amazing YouTube channel Ghetto Vegans.
Along with their mukbangs, they have some REALLY amazing recipes. The one I believe is a must-try-and-soon is this vegan chicken sandwich made from oyster mushrooms. It looks ridiculously sloppy and absolutely delicious! AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE MUSHROOMS! (But I’m learning.)
I truly have not been this enthralled by anything in a long time! Immensely enjoyable, family-centered, and wonderfully entertaining.
I highly recommend starting with the “Who Knows Me Better?” videos. Make sure to grab a big old snack yourself before sitting down with them. You won’t want to leave for a while, and you’ll get hungry watching!
Find Ghetto Vegans by the same name on Instagram, and on Twitter they’re @GhettoVegan1.
Adjoa Courtney, better known as Chef Joya, is a Charlotte, NC – based chef, caterer, consultant, and veganizer who has recently put out her first e-cookbook It’s Soul Mah-mazing Vol. 1.
Raised in Wisconsin, and vegan from the age of 7, Joya passionately brings her knowledge and love of “different cultural flavors” to her readers/viewers through recipes that are described by her as mostly Soul, French, and Afro-Caribbean.
We cannot wait to try her ribs (“just gluten and peanut butter and spices” she says). Not to mention, her award-winning Mac and Cheese recipes.
Who would have thought that just two years ago (at the time of this writing), this highly sought after chef and now author was actually a professional hair and make-up artist who sometimes cooked for friends?!
To see the joy Joya truly brings to people with her food and her infectious charm, I would highly recommend this video of her serving some of her classic dishes to the morning show staff of Charlotte’s Power 98 radio station. It will NOT disappoint you!
Find Chef Joya across MOST platforms as “Cooking with Joya”. However, her YouTube channel goes by the name “Say What! It’s Vegan?”
We hope you enjoyed this round-up and can’t wait to bring you more from this series! Researching this post has been so much fun. And honestly, I can’t wait to get started on researching the next post.
To our white friends and readers: We hope this series (and in particular, this post) helps you to take an honest look at the vegan food accounts you follow and ask yourself if you’re listening to diverse voices or if everyone in your feed, well…looks like you.
We know it is all too easy to get cornered in our own cross-section of the world where everything is just a reflection of ourselves.
We all have a lot to offer and teach each other on this shared home of ours, and diversifying our feed is a great place to start learning how to be more effective allies.
Until next time!