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Thug Kitchen: A Recipe in Blackface

When I first clicked through the recipes at Thug Kitchen, a tongue-in-cheek, vegan cooking blog served up with a heaping side of expletives, I imagined a calorie-conscious, gangly young black man who’s particularly vehement about clean eating, insistently tapping recipes into his blog while Dead Prez reverberates in the background. He has a good eye, too, as he complements such recipes as “Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Quinoa and Motherf–king Cranberries” with Pinterest-worthy pics and the tagline, “Eat like you give a f–k.”

With African Americans especially plagued with obesity and the accompanying stressors and diseases, it was a refreshing idea that a young black man would be the purveyor of not just healthy eating but vegan cuisine at that, a leap that some health-conscious folks might find it difficult to make, given the restrictions on eggs and dairy in addition to meats.

More Auntie Fee than Chef G. Garvin, the blog would likely discourage trading recipes word for word with your mom. Still, I was inspired. To me, Thug Kitchen could have helped whip up a healthy eating movement akin to those of the natural-hair purists or, say, Black Girls Run— which are all uplifting healthwise for black folks and enforce a positive message for us. Would Chef G. Garvin or Chef Roblé feature the up-and-comer? Might he be cooking with the Neelys one day?

With more than 51,000 followers on Twitter, a couple of endorsements from Gwyneth Paltrow and a new cookbook released to much fanfare, the mystery blogger behind the well-trafficked site was poised and ready to emerge from the shadows and join fellow next-level black entrepreneurs.

 

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