Portland, OR-based Black Feast—a monthly vegan pop-up dinner event that celebrates Black artists—recently launched an initiative that offers free dessert, letters, and care packages to the Black population. “Love Letters to Black Folks” was founded by Salimatu Amabebe and Annika Hansteen-Izora and aims to offer community care to Black communities in need. They offer free care packages that consist of donated products such as candles, skincare, and flowers, along with poetry written by Hansteen-Izora and dessert made by Amabebe, such as peach crisp with maple-ginger cashew cream and candied pecans. Individuals can reserve their spot ahead of time and pick up the items at a local café on Sundays.
“When all the protests were getting active, we started doing Love Letters because Annika and I felt really overwhelmed. We were trying to figure out what community care work would look like, and we came up with an idea,” Salimatu Amabebe told media outlet Vogue. “I think something I’ve recognized is how important it is to make that type of care and support ongoing, because it takes a lot of trust for people to receive it. I love to offer people all sorts of things, but when it comes to being able to receive, it’s very difficult, and I think as Black people we often feel like we need to be at the height of suffering in order to be deserving of this type of care. Right now, part of my job is encouraging people to come and not feel the need to reciprocate through donations or anything else: to say, ‘This is care, and you deserve it.’”
Photo Credit: Jess Carter