Two black men walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks store, sat down to have a conversation while waiting for a friend, without an order of coffee. Some time later, they were handcuffed and walked out by local police. National protests erupted mainly staged at Starbucks locations. The Starbucks Philadelphia store manager was fired for calling the cops on the black men and Starbucks corporate was swift in the announcement of a shut down of 8,000 stores to hold a racial-bias training to 175,000 employees on May 29th. Starbucks is expected to lose between $6 to $8.5 million dollars in revenue due to the shutdown. The rep of Starbucks is damaged for sure! The two black men were awarded a financial settlement along with college funding from Starbucks. The city of Philadelphia responded in mutual agreement with the two black men, with a $1 million dollar settlement and a pledge to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs.
People of color/Black/Latinx/Indigenous have to walk with the possibility of being racially targeted, at the hands of ‘white fear’ into spaces that may not be diverse in people. The question comes, how can the restaurant industry avoid the ‘Starbuck’s incident’ so that patrons and employees can exist in harmony?
You know how BoldLatina do it – we love our Starbucks on the corner, but we know we have options – coffee shops and cafes owned, operated and preserving space for community, for all, including people of color.
Hasta Muerte a worker owned collective coffee shop in the Oakland neighborhood of Fruitvale made headlines earlier this year for refusing to serve police officers. Fruitvale was on the map for where Oscar Grant died at the hands of police brutality – widespread protests later prompted the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Last Friday February 16th a police (OPD) entered our shop and was told by one of our worker-owners that “we have a policy of asking police to leave for the physical and emotional safety of our customers and ourselves.” Since then, cop supporters are trying to publicly shame us online with low reviews because this particular police visitor was Latino. He broadcasted to his network that he was “refused service” at a local business and now the rumblings are spreading. We know in our experience working on campaigns against police brutality that we are not alone saying that police presence compromises our feeling of physical & emotional safety. There are those that do not share that sentiment – be it because they have a friend or relative who is a police, because they are white or have adopted the privileges whiteness affords, because they are home- or business- owning, or whatever the particular case may be. If they want to make claims about police being part of the community, or claims that race trumps the badge & gun when it comes to police, they must accept that the burden of proof for such a claim is on them. OPDs recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression. The facts are that poc, women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks. For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police. Especially in an area faced by drug sales and abuse, homelessness, and toxic masculinity as we see here on this block. We want to put this out to our communities now, in case we end up facing backlash because as we know OPD, unlike the community, has tons of resources, many of which are poured into maintaining smooth public relations to uphold power. It will be no surprise if some of those resources are steered toward discrediting us for not inviting them in as part of the community.
Tierra Mia Coffee is a well-know franchise in California, both northern and southern locations serve up horchata latte frappes and the tres leches muffins are to die for. Bernal Heights is one location we love!
Porto’s Bakery in Burbank, Buena Park, Glendale and Downey is where the bomb Cuban cortadito can be found. You can also find hearty Cuban sandwiches and their famous potato balls.
Currency Exchange Café serves up Mexican, Filipino and American style café classics. It’s dope.
DC Conscious Café “feeds the mind, body and soul’ for real. The black owned social enterprise café offers community dialogue and much more through their innovative business model for the local community.
Urban Grind Coffee House is a black owned coffeehouse that holds Thursday night open mic nights, poetry slams and other cultural art events.
Head over to our Instagram post for a growing coffee shop list contributed by our readers!