The Crusader Newspaper Group

Black vegans are fighting the power with food

By Natalie Hopkinson,

More than 30 years ago, as a sophomore at Amherst College, Tracye McQuirter heard the late activist and comedian Dick Gregory give a speech about nutrition and race. For McQuirter, it was life-changing.

“He talked about politics, economics and culture of food, food deserts, why black folks eat the way we eat,” said McQuirter. Gregory had been a vegan for 20 years, and “he talked about using food as a tool for liberation. He traced the path of a hamburger, from a cow on the farm to the slaughterhouse, to a fast food restaurant, to a clogged artery, to a heart attack. It blew my mind.”

McQuirter went home to Washington, D.C., that summer and read all she could find at the library on the subject, and convinced her mother and sister to join her in becoming vegans. She joined a protest at a fast-food chain and passed out free meatless hot dogs and leaflets about veganism.


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