Serious Eats unequivocally stands in solidarity with those protesting the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and the many others who have lost their lives to racist violence. We believe that the systemic oppression and violence visited upon Black people has been, is, and will continue to be the urgent issue in the United States, and we offer our support to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Outlets like the New York Times have made the indisputable point that there are two devastating epidemics faced by Black America right now: the coronavirus and police brutality. The former has already taken a disproportionate number of Black lives, and promises to continue to disproportionately affect communities of color. The latter has led to a seemingly endless tide of murders of Black people by the police. At Serious Eats, we’ve devoted substantial airtime to cooking and coping during COVID-19. But we recognize that it’s irresponsible to discuss one of these issues without addressing the other: Both emerge from longstanding inequalities founded on this society’s structural disregard for the value of Black lives.
This inequality is far-ranging and insidious, and our industry is not immune. As a food website that publishes international recipes and runs reported feature articles, personal essays, and the like, we’ve long had a commitment to celebrating global culinary traditions. But while we’ve endeavored to be sensitive to issues of cultural appropriation, to represent diverse voices, and to assert that food is always, at its core, deeply political, we are also part of the problem.
Serious Eats has no Black people on staff at this time, and we’ve never had a Black editor. The underrepresentation of Black voices in food media is well-known and often remarked and reported upon, yet it remains endemic to our industry. That’s not a coincidence, nor is it an idiosyncrasy of media broadly or food media in particular: It is a reflection of the power structures that define the United States, and it is not okay.
We are committed to making more Black voices heard on our site, to honoring Black foodways, to being a home for Black stories, and to standing back and shutting up to listen to Black voices elsewhere. What that actually means is that we’ll be refraining from publishing new content this week and instead using our homepage to provide a list of links and resources to help people get involved in the necessary fight against racism in this country. We’ll also be using that time to have difficult conversations about our organization and the content we produce, and to plan for the future accordingly.
If you would like to share feedback, offer suggestions for ways we can improve, or send along additional links we can share, we welcome emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Black lives matter.
Update: February 3, 2021
Many of you have asked us what progress we've made, so today we want to take a moment to update you.
We have not hired any new full-time staff members, and as we reported in our June statement, we do not have any Black staff members or editors. However, we have significantly increased the number of freelancers we work with and the ratio of contributor to staff-produced content that runs on the site. Since issuing our statement, we’ve published 90 articles and recipes by 34 contributors. Of those contributors, 25 are BIPOC, including 11 Black contributors; the remaining nine are white. In terms of content volume, 70 of the 90 articles were authored by BIPOC, including 21 authored by Black writers, most of whom are working on future pieces for us right now, too.
Our work is ongoing and we're constantly looking to widen our contributor base. We’d love to hear from readers about what types of stories they’d like to see from us in the future. In the meantime, our team has nominated a selection of some of our favorite stories and recipes from Black authors to celebrate Black History Month. You can find them here.
Our staff has put together a list of resources, further reading, and places to donate that we’d like to share:
Register to Vote
- Register to vote. Use your right to vote. Links to individual state Board of Elections websites included.
Donate, Take Action, Get Involved
- Justice for Big Floyd: website set up to demand justice for the Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of George Floyd.
- Reclaim the Block: Minneapolis-based organization that advocates shifting funding from the police department to other municipal services to promote health, safety, and well-being.
- List of bail funds for protestors across the United States.
- Black Lives Matter is a nonprofit founded in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin whose mission "is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes."
- Equal Justice Initiative is a nonprofit founded by Bryan Stevenson that "is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society."
- The Movement for Black Lives: effort to coordinate Black organizations to effect lasting political change.
- Color of Change a progressive nonprofit devoted to civil rights advocacy.
- MPower Change is a Muslim grassroots movement "working to build social, spiritual, racial, and economic justice for all people."
- Food Pantries' list of food pantries in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ): "national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability."
- Campaign Zero: organization devoted to ending police violence in the United States.
- NAACP Legal Defense Fund: legal organization devoted to fighting for racial justice.
- Critical Resistance: organization that seeks to build international movement to end to abolish prisons.
- Official Black Wall Street is a searchable business directory of Black-owned businesses to patronize.
Further Reading, Watching, and Listening
- JSTOR Daily syllabus on institutionalized racism. "Institutional racism—a term coined by Stokely Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture) and Charles V. Hamilton in their 1967 book Black Power: The Politics of Liberation in America—is what connects George Floyd and Breonna Taylor with Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Emmett Till, and the thousands of other people who have been killed because they were black in America."
- 13th: feature film directed by Ava DuVernay that shows how the history of racial inequality in the United States has resulted in the high rate of incarceration.
- National Museum of African American History & Culture's "Talking About Race" portal: offers tips for families, educators, and communities about how to talk about racism and commit to being antiracist.
- New Era of Public Safety: A Guide to Fair, Safe, and Effective Community Policing: pdf of report laying out recommendations for creating accountability for law enforcement and improving relationships between communities of color and law enforcement.
- "The Science of Justice: Race, Arrests, and Police Use of Force" report by the Center for Policing Equity.
- Section of the The Opportunity Agenda's interactive report dealing with promoting accountability for law enforcement.
- Communities United for Police Reform: organization that seeks to end discriminatory and abusive policing by the New York Police Department.
- A list of 75 things you can do to help the cause of racial justice.
- The 1619 Project: Pulitzer Prize-winning project that seeks to "reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."
- "An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis", James Baldwin in The New York Review of Books, January 7, 1971.