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Sistah Vegan: Breeze Harper Speaks on the Intersection of Critical Race & Food Studies

Posted on March 26th, 2010 in AK Distribution, Happenings

Sistah  Vegan cover

Just yesterday, AK Press received our first copies of the brand new book, Sistah Vegan. This is great timing because, well, it’s always great timing when a book on an important-but-underexplored topic comes out. It’s also great timing, though, because AK is gearing up to welcome editor Breeze Harper to our warehouse for a book release event in just a few weeks.

On Thursday, April 15th at 7pm, Ms. Harper will be here to read a passage from Sistah Vegan and talk about how whiteness manifests in the vegan and animal rights community, as well as the ways black women specifically speak to and against this. The intersection of critical race studies and veganism is a topic Breeze has a passion for, and one that clearly speaks to the identities and experiences of many others. Just ask any of the multitude of contributors to her book.

About the project, Breeze says in her own blog:

My research activism focuses on the under-researched topic of intersections of vegan philsophy and race/racism/racialized consciousness. My creation of Sistah Vegan  came out of my desire to create a black female socio-spatial epistemological stance around veganism, simply because no one had ever done it before. When I would visit mainstream vegan forums, several years ago, veganism was only oriented toward animal rights as priority. However, a significant number of black female identified vegans that I had dialogued with had come to veganism from a completely different angle: reclaiming their womb health and fighting black health disparities. It was a clear indicator to me that the way one comes to, and engages in, veganism is heavily influenced by racialized and gendered experiences.

She’s also got more writing, and some very interesting videos up on subjects from “consumption and decolonial possibilities” to vegan hip hop and alternative black masculinities.

And if you’d like to do some further reading on the web, I’d highly recommend checking out the Vegans of Color blog. This is where I first heard about the Sistah Vegan project, and it is full of some of the most thoughtful discourse on intersectionality as it relates to veganism, animal rights, and food politics that I’ve come across.

I trust by now you’re thoroughly convinced to come to the warehouse, full of ideas and questions, on the 15th. If you’re the Facebooking type, you can view and RSVP to the event right here. And if for some reason you can’t make it out, be sure to check out the book, and follow Breeze’s journey with it on her blog. She may just be bringing the discussion to a bookstore, coffee shop, or community center near you.