s/courtesy of Jamie Nda Bandeira, iviral [c] Jamie Nda A Black Woman CEO and Head Chef of Restaurant Sitka and Spruce. Jamie does not see the value in an “’out of sight out of mind’” approach to street food, ingredients, farming, and other everyday tasks. She is one of about 200,000 brown faces in the service sector. Image Via Instagram @jamieneda.
The backlash to comments about the lack of Black representation in media and culture is overblown, according to a woman known as “The Sarah Silverman of Toronto” for her Twitter tirades about race.
Jamie Nda, an entrepreneur and former army officer, is often the target of online trolls who push her to eat, drink, and dress differently because of her features. Her derision of these kinds of attitudes has landed her in thousands of unflattering tweets and nasty comments.
And now, she wants her detractors to stop talking down to her.
“Just because you don’t understand the real experience in India, the real frustration and the real anger that we all feel as brown people, doesn’t mean that I’m not frustrated with that as well,” she told amNY. “Black folks here in North America are highly polarized. It’s highly reminiscent of the black-white divide — or for that matter, the brown-yellow divide.”
Even so, she never fully considered what it would be like to live in the other Black-majority country in the world.
“I’m sure that it’s incredibly scary,” she said. “I mean, one thinks about the numbers of people who live in sub-Saharan Africa, just to name one country. It’s literally the majority of the people in that country. I mean, it’s astonishing. You would be extremely excited to have that living situation here in Canada.”
Then, Toronto ushered in what it has called its “Black Food Sovereignty Month” to get the community to embrace a farming project that will provide a source of healthy, unprocessed, unprocessed food. The city has also promoted the idea of Black-owned businesses as more innovative and creative.
The change will see the city supporting a new initiative called, “Blackcraft with Values,” which is designed to foster the adoption of Black-specific and entrepreneurial business practices throughout the city, and its environs.
“This initiative has been spearheaded by Toronto Black Sustainability Caucus (TBSC), the Black Kitchen Trade Collective (BKT), the Rosa Parks Youth Project (RSYP), and the Centre for Talented Youth (CTY), in collaboration with Toronto Black Chambers and the Federation of Canadian Entrepreneurs of Colour (FCEC),” the CBC reported.
“Blackcraft with Values is working with local chefs to produce and market black-owned goods, including hand crafted furniture, clothing, art, and a ‘Black Craft with Values’ experience that includes a visit to a local business and meeting an entrepreneur who has made a change to the black community.”
Nda said she understands why people cannot respect a movement that seeks to include people who look like her. She said she was born to a Black American mother, and sees herself as an “Afro-feminist.” And she notes that she grew up in the United States, growing up in a house in which women who wore pants outnumbered men.
“But at the same time, I think it’s kind of a cultural thing when you walk around the world, there’s a significant number of women who are white, which is partially why I grew up with a ‘girl power’ mentality,” she said.
“You have to work on your own identity, and your own self-determination.”
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