The right to being served is something Black folks have battled over for years. From sit-ins at Woolworth’s to fighting against segregated areas, many white business needed the law to be forced to serve people of color. That said, we have all experienced waiting way too long for food, the waiter who clearly doesn’t like you or the assumption that you won’t tip well. Therefore, dining or shopping while Black can often be as bad as shopping while Black. Here are just a few recent examples.
In February of 2018, two Black women at an Applebee’s Independence, Missouri, were racial profiled. They were accused by a white waitress of dining and dashing and the cops were called. See the viral video below:
Only because of the outrage from the video, the Applebee’s location shut down. See the statement from Applebee’s:
On March 11, in Auburn, Maine, a White teenager named Avery Gagne posted on Facebook that he saw a group of Black teenagers being told to prepay for their meal, writing, “We paid and sat there for a few minutes and I heard an employee tell the table that they were going to need to pay upfront and that it was ‘a new generation thing.’ I kept thinking to myself that I have been to many restaurants (sic) with my teenage friends and have never had to pay upfront? I called over to the group and asked them if they were seriously being asked to pay upfront and they said yes.” He continued, “So my father, mother and I stood up and began to question why this was happening. I myself was already quite worked up as I knew exactly why this was happening. The woman who requested they pay upfront came over and began to tell us how it was what management has asked her to do as they have had walk outs etc. She then looked at my parents and I and said (sic) ‘it’s not because of their color.’” See the full post below:
The server was suspended for a week without pay after the manager confirmed she demanded a group of Black teens pay upfront. The location temporarily closed but reopened.
In October, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta stars Debra Antney and Momma Dee said their party of seven was denied seating at Houston’s. Rapper TI led a protest, writing on Instagram, “Okay, so I’ve heard four different stories from four different sources about discrimination against us at two separate Houston’s Steakhouse locations in my city.” TI boycotted the restaurant, which was effective, causing at least one Houston’s in Atlanta to close. See the report below of the restaurant getting caught refusing to serve Black customers.
Angel of Harlem
On February 10, 2018, Tara Fitzgibbon and a group of her friends visited Angel of Harlem restaurant in Harlem. According to the New York Daily News, as they were at the bar, “A manager came up behind them and demanded to know how they were planning on paying. ‘You were here last week, and ran up a tab and left,’ the manager said aggressively.” This was Tara’s first time at Angel of Harlem. The site continued, “Fitzgibbon said the manager flipped out, snatched a menu from her hands, banged on the bar and accused her of lying. The manager yelled that he had video of Fitzgibbon dining and dashing at the restaurant a few days earlier, making the restaurant turn dead quiet.” Tara said they were “beyond embarrassed” and “felt dehumanized.”
The manager, who was described as White or Hispanic, pulled out his phone and showed Tara and her friends a group of Black women, who looked nothing like them, dining and dashing. “As the manager kept accusing her of lying, Fitzgibbon said her friend, Tamara Young, exclaimed, ‘What, do all Black people look alike to you?’ The manager subsequently yelled at Fitzgibbon and her friends to get out. They left the restaurant and were considering legal action.
However, it doesn’t stop there. A woman in a Yelp review claimed she also visited Angel of Harlem on February 10 and a bartender tried to overcharge her. Allegedly, the bartender said her boyfriend had been “stealing drinks from the counter” and that is why they were charged more. When the customer asked why they weren’t kicked out if they were stealing drinks, she claims the bartender responded with, “I’m from Europe, b***h.”
Most recently, a Starbucks employee called the police because the two Black men were doing what scores of people do at Starbucks—using the coffee shop as a meeting place without making a purchase. The men were arrested and in jail for eight hours. There are calls to boycott Starbucks. Watch the viral video:
Starbucks has apologized, but the damage has clearly been done.
If you are racially profiled or see someone being racially profiled, pull out your phone and document it. Every restaurant needs to be exposed if they don’t want our money or support.