African Americans

10 Black Celebrities who are Actually Vegan

Here’s a fun fact: African Americans are the fastest-growing vegan demographic. Even though some people make jokes and say that there are no black vegans, research from 2016 proved that 8% of African American adults identify as vegan. Many celebrities are proud vegans, and they use their platform to speak on veganism. Jay-Z and Beyonce even offered people free tickets for their concerts if they go vegan! Also, Jadan Smith launched a vegan food truck for the homeless, and Cardi B started a vegan fashion line.

Here is a list of celebrities that may inspire your next food leap:

1. Serena Williams

Serena mostly eats plant-based food. She revealed that she cleaned up her diet and became vegan when her sister Venus got sick with Sjogren’s syndrome. They started eating raw foods and smoothies. However, she wasn’t strict in the beginning. Venus even called their diet “chegan” because sometimes they cheated by eating a little chicken or fish.

For breakfast, she eats fruits, oats, and almond butter. For lunch, she has a light salad. When it comes to dinner, she usually has brown rice and vegetables, and also chia and hemp seeds. However, Williams isn’t always eating clean. Sometimes she lets herself enjoy her favorite food, such as tacos and a Moon Pie. There are times when she is very strict about what she eats. When her daughter was born, she had an emergency C-section. After that, she became ill and needed multiple surgeries. She had to spend six weeks recovering in bed. To recover, she followed a strict vegan meal plan and cut out sugar completely. She descried that diet as “awful.” It even included grass. Even though it was a nightmare, she says it was worth it.

2. Dawn Richard

The musician teamed up with animal rights organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to promote cruelty-free and vegan fashion. She is proud to wear vegan fashion, saying: “You’re respecting not only the humans around you but the animals around you as well.”

3. Stevie Wonder

The singer revealed that he’s been vegan for two years. He chose that for environmental and health reasons.

4. Russell Simmons

For Simmons, this change started with his spiritual journey. He also has a lot of compassion for animals. He got inspiration from the film Diet for a New America.

5. Angela Davis

Even though she is best known for her human rights activism, Angela is a committed vegan.

6. Robin Quivers

Quivers says her vegan diet helped her recover from surgery and treatment while she was battling cancer. She also added that all of her chronic health issues were gone when she started eating clean.

7. Ava DuVenay

Ava says that black veganism has historical roots. Also, for many black people, it is also about social justice and food access.

8. Kimberly Elise

The actress was vegetarian for ten years before going full vegan.

9. Cory Booker

When Cory became vegan, he started having more energy, and his sleep got better.

10. Carl Lewis

The athlete says his best year of competition was the first year he ate a vegan diet.


Presidential Reconstruction

In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson as his Vice Presidential candidate. As Johnson was a Democratic senator from Tennessee, Lincoln hoped that he will appeal to those Southerners who never wanted to leave the Union.

Johnson was coming from a poor family, and he didn’t learn to write until he was 20 years old. He was a backer of the small farmer, and when he came to political power, he talked against “slaveocracy” and “Southern Aristocracy” that had little use for working white men.

At that time, Vice Presidents’ saying rarely mattered, unless something happens to the president, and with Lincoln’s assassination, Johnson’s words mattered. He thought that southerners should do what is best for them. In his opinion, African Americans were not capable of managing their lives, and he was completely against giving them a right to vote.

He was giving pardons and amnesties, returning properties to the Confederates who pledged to the Union and who accepted the 13th Amendment. He didn’t return their slaves of course.

Those Confederate officials, together with owners of large properties, were obligated to submit an individual application for a Presidential Pardon. His version of Reconstruction wasn’t that harsh. Many Confederates, around 7,000, got a Presidential pardon, and many got a full power they had before. Only a few were prosecuted.

Now again African Americans were in a bad position. They were free but not as they thought they would be. They were under a very harsh law, better known as “black codes,” and if they don’t supply any evidence that they were employed, even free, they had to go back and work on plantations. African Americans were beaten up a lot frequently too.

In South Carolina, they were banned from all public facilities, including parks, preschool, school, orphanages, etc. That wasn’t all as African Americans had to pay a special tax if they weren’t farmers or servants, they weren’t allowed to hunt or fish, not to own a gun, and even their dogs were taxed.

The freedman’s bureau, a federal agency created to help the transition from slavery to emancipation, had limited power in helping African Americans to adjust to their new ways of living, and all those rules forced even free slaves to stay and work on plantations.

Most Northerners welcomed Johnson’s policies, but there was no consensus on the rights that African Americans received with Emancipation. Some Radical Republicans urged that the rights granted with Declaration of Independence were applied for all free men, including those formerly slaves.

A battle for political power was in the offing.