Black Book, a new media platform founded by chef and writer Zoe Adjonyoh, writer, academic, and Eater London contributor Dr Anna Sulan Masing, and communications consultant and project manager Frankie Reddin, has launched with an eight week events series on decolonising the food industry.
A “global representation platform for black & non-white people working within hospitality and food media,” it aims to enhance “equality, equity and wealth creation” worldwide across those fields. It has begun that mission with its event series, inviting thought leaders and activists to discuss the limiting power of whiteness in current spaces — like cookbook publishing, food media, and food TV — and the opportunities for black and non-white people to establish spaces of their own. Last Sunday’s talk, on “food news, media, and magazines,” featured Whetstone Magazine co-founder Stephen Satterfield, food, climate, and culture writer Izzie Ramirez, and writer, cook, and artist Tunde Wey, alongside Masing, Adjonyoh, and “resident panellist” Eileen Twum, formerly of The Infatuation. Fozia Ismail, academic, cook, and founder of East African food platform Arawelo Eats, will also join future panels as a resident.
Adjonyoh says that time spent in New York in 2018 informed the impetus to launch such a platform, after finding “radical and collegiate Black communities in food and beverage in the states and the wider variety of platforms for diverse representation,” like culinary fellowship Black Food Folks and food world database Equity at the Table. Frustrated by the lack of such support networks in the U.K., she sought out “a team who shared my concerns, shared in the idea for a solution and shared in the bold vision to decolonise the food industry world wide and without delay I approached Anna and Frankie.”
While the team recognises that it is far from the “sole solution,” the longterm aim is to both create equity itself and to act as an advocate for its community, having built momentum through its founding event series.