CELEBRATING BLACK BUSINESSES WITH FOOD, WINE, AND FRIENDSHIP: TASTE, WINE AND DINE
Entrepreneurship is a part of our legacy.
From the Green Book, which advised Black travelers of where they might comfortably find lodging and services, to the Black-owned banks that serviced Black consumers who were elsewhere “redlined” out of opportunities, African-American businesses filled the void left by the racist abuses of Jim Crow and other discriminatory mechanisms. Denied the opportunity to participate freely and on equal terms in the broader commercial life of the nation, we created our own commercial communities.
But it’s not just racism that drove our need for business ownership. Creating outlets that bring value – and joy – to us and others is something that many do; because they must... it is their passion and their joy.
The Beverly Hills West Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, celebrated that tradition, enjoying an
evening of good wine, good food, and good friendship, as members and guests spent the evening with two exciting entrepreneurs from our community.
Theodora Lee, a trial lawyer and senior partner at the Littler law firm, spoke to the chapter about her path to winemaking. Theodora, founded, Theopolis Vineyards () and her wines have made their mark. Numerous outlets have celebrated them as palate-pleasers and as she led chapter members and guests through a tasting, it became quite clear why. The wine was magnificent and Theodora’s story was inspirational — a reminder that yes, we can find a way to do anything we want to.
Wine, friends and food. The Inaugural Taste, Wine and Dine event had friends in abundance, including alumna members Addie Arbor, Cynthia Oredugba and Deborah Prothrow-Stith.
And of course, let’s not forget the food. Yet another entrepreneur carrying on the tradition of Black business excellence, Aaron Blackburn, owner of Derrick’s on Atlantic (), provided the evening’s meals, which included an assortment of offerings from Derrick’s menu. Aaron shared the story of steering his business through the uncertainties of the pandemic, while maintaining a commitment to culinary greatness. It was a commitment he shared with our members and guests, both in the telling of his story and in providing meals that lived up to it. Aaron stands not only as a testament to the power and endurance of the Black business owner - but also as a reminder of how lucky every community is when entrepreneurs offer them an opportunity for exciting and delicious food.
The BHW Chapter will continue this fun and tasty tradition. Here’s to more!
From the Beverly Hills West Legislative Committee:
CALL TO ACTION!!!
THE POTENTIAL MAJOR CHANGE IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS WHICH MAY OCCUR IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS IS UNKNOWN TO MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS
Byron Allen, an African American, American businessman, former comedian, and TV mogul brought a $20 billion lawsuit for racial discrimination against Comcast and Charter Cable for their refusal to carry his networks or even meet with him. Mr. Allen alleges that Comcast and Charter Cable are in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits racial discrimination in contracting. He lost the case at the trial court level and won at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Comcast then appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
At stake now is the possible ending of the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (specifically Section 1981). In addition to Comcast taking a position against the Civil Rights Act of 1866, now the Department of Justice is involved. Comcast has allotted 10 minutes of its 30-minute Supreme Court argument to William Barr’s Department of Justice.
At this juncture, it does not matter whether you believe in Byron Allen's position or not. In any case, it is important for us to rally together and bring pressure on Comcast to dismiss the case pending before SCOTUS and scheduled for oral argument on November 13, 2019; or to appeal to Byron Allen to settle with Comcast, if possible. A LOSS OF THIS CASE MEANS THE SUBSTANTIAL LOSS OF CIVIL RIGHTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS, HISPANIC AMERICANS, INDIAN AMERICANS AND ALL OTHER PROTECTED CLASSES FOR YEARS TO COME.
We propose that we alert the media, our organizations, civil rights lawyers and powerful law firms to bring these parties together for a result that is palatable to both sides. We need to make our positions known and get our collective voices heard. We need to be seen in front of the Supreme Court if this matter is not settled prior to November 13, 2019.
THIS POTENTIAL MAJOR CHANGE IN THE CIVIL RIGHTS LAWS WILL CHANGE LIVES. Can we risk SCOTUS overturning the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Byron Allen? Can we risk ANY diminishment to the Civil Rights Act of 1866?
Note that Comcast is the parent company of Focus Features which produced Harriet. The producers cast a non-African American to play the role of Harriet. While we are pleased that our Nigerian/British sister is talented and working and that so many African Americans are able to be in a movie portraying the heroism of Harriet Tubman, do you want to support the film knowing that you are fueling the coffers of Comcast? That decision must be made by each African American.
We have included a few links to information on these issues. How Byron Allen's $20 billion dollar lawsuit could be a game changer: