What is the Black Restaurant Challenge?
Casey Jenkins has cooked up a great idea, the Black Restaurant Challenge!
Early last year, Jenkins and Terra Cafe owner Terence Dickson were grabbing a bite to eat when the conversation turned to awareness-raising campaigns gone viral. The “ice bucket challenge,” launched to raise money to fight Lou Gehrig’s disease, had made waves a few summers earlier – prompting millions of people, including celebrities, to post videos on social media dousing themselves in ice-cold water for the cause.
“They’re dumping water on people’s heads,” Jenkins recalled. “I said, ‘You know what? We should do a challenge.'”
Jenkins, who owns the Birdland Sports Bar & Grill on Belair Road, recruited a cameraman friend to shoot a video of him laying down the rules: challenge participants should eat at two African-American-owned restaurants a week during the month of February – and tell their friends about it. He put together a website for the challenge, and began to spread the word among fellow restaurateurs.