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A Day And A Taste Of Black Food, Love And Peace

By Final Call News | Last updated: Aug 29, 2018 - 2:00:19 PM

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CHICAGO—Nearly 9,000 people enjoyed food, fun and family on the grounds of Mosque Maryam, national headquarters of the Nation of Islam, during a daylong festival devoted to culture, music and Black enterprise at the second annual Taste of Black Chicago.

“It was wonderful, it was a great turnout,” said business guru Toure Muhammad, founder of the Taste of Black Chicago, the Black Chicago Eats website and owner of the Bean Soup Times. He believes there are three main reasons the festival was and continues to be successful.

“I think it was a combination of:  One, participants came to support Black business. Two, the response from the entertainment was positive, uplifting; and three, it was safe because they knew they were at the home of the Nation of Islam.”

“People were telling us that that was a ‘day of healing’ because it’s so much negative stuff happening here but that day was a day we could come out in peace and unity,” he continued.

Over 60 vendors within the city attended the Aug. 18 festival as a part of Black Chicago Eats Month, which celebrates Black contributions to Chicago’s food scene. Families, singles, youth and children enjoyed live music and dance, poetry and spoken word, bouncy houses, horseback riding and tasty foods from Oooh Wee Sweet Tea, Soul Vegan, These Wingz, Ova’Flo Southern Style Cuisine and many others culinary artists.

“I have seen that the Black community is truly supporting itself right now. We’re coming together and we’re striving as a community,” Angela D., owner of Ova’Flo stated. “I hope the people will walk away with an overflow of blessings, a overflow of love, a overflow of joy—just  overflow,” she continued. People lined up from afternoon to evening tasting her foods and the other food vendors.

Troy X from Respect for Life Bookstore said the event makes it easier for Black consumers to support their own. “Of course, there’s no food like the food that Black people make so in many instances, there’s restaurants that we have and businesses throughout the city that people don’t really know exist. This is a great opportunity for the businesses as well as the people who are coming by so they can be exposed to food that we’re producing and help build and expand the businesses in the community.”

Kesha Styles from Styles Pop, a cosmetic and fashion line, loves the Black cuisine festival especially since it’s a place for other entrepreneurs to share their products and services.

 “The Taste of Black Chicago is very exciting to me because I love to see our people come together in unity,” she told The Final Call. “There are so many entrepreneurs out here now and it just feels good to be amongst other Black businesses just trying to make it and be successful. I love it, it’s such a positive event!”

Nikelcia Marcia, visiting from Florida, was grateful for the security measures the Nation of Islam took to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves in a safe environment. “We love to have fun but safe fun is even better. It makes me feel free to let my kid play around because I know the security measures are in place,” she said. She also emphasized that Black and Indigenous communities have suffered enough and should unite in the effort to build themselves up.

 “It’s time for us to band together and support one another so I think that this festival and the change and the climate is because I think we’re tired of suffering,” said Ms. Marcia.

Toure Muhammad thanked everyone for their support and contributions. “I hope they came with an overwhelmed amount of Black excellence that was displayed by the organization of the event, the food, the entertainment. I hope they walked away with affirmation that Black people could gather in peace.” The men of the Nation, the Fruit of Islam, and the Muslim women of the Nation provided security. Not a single Chicago police officer was in sight.

The next Taste of Black Chicago is going to be “bigger and better,” promised Mr. Muhammad. “I want to thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Executive Council, Linda Perez, Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad and the Believers in Chicago for making this event special. I think we were successful because we had it where we had it.”

For more information, visit or follow @BlackChicagoEats on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.