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I’ve been told, straight-faced, that ‘black vegans’ are nonexistent, since the ‘veggie’ thing is just spoiled white college kids acting out.” Media over-exposure of the movement’s key white figures has further perpetuated this illusion, rendering vegans of color virtually invisible in our cultural landscape.

However, mainstream media outlets are slowly starting to take note of the rich diversity already present within this multifaceted movement. Earlier this year, the Philadelphia Inquirer published the aforementioned article, titled “African Americans are Indeed in the Vegan Mix,” just weeks before BET ran a story reminding its audience that “Black People Are Vegan, Too!” Oakland, CA-based vegan chef and eco-activist Bryant Terry, whose work centers on revitalizing the African American tradition of eating home-grown, plant-based foods, received widespread media coverage in outlets such as The Huffington PostNPR, and O, The Oprah Magazineafter his latest book, The Inspired Vegan, hit the shelves. Likewise, vegan lifestyle guru Latham Thomas, founder of Tender Shoots Wellness and MamaGlow, has been featured on programs such as The Dr. Oz Show and Inside Edition. The presence of these and other vegan advocates has increased mainstream awareness of inextricably intertwined issues such as race, food, health, and ethics.