This British black woman, a restaurant owner, has had enough of the discrimination. Martha-Renée Kolleh who owns Yeanon Café in Ossett, West Yorshire was tired of people walking in her restaurant, seeing her black face, and then turning around and walking right back out.
So she posted a warning of sorts in response.
The sign, written in all caps, reads:
Attention! Everyone be aware I am a black woman, and always will be. If you are allergic to black people, don’t come in.
But if you prefer quality wholesome meals in a pleasant and clean environment, come in. I don’t bite.
Kolleh said she posted the sign to vent her frustration. These frustrations aren’t completely unfounded either. Noticing how people were responding to her, she decided to conduct an experiment. She hired a white woman named Tracy to be the front woman for the restaurant. She said when Tracy is in the front of the restaurant the place is full but when she’s not working, the place is empty. In fact, she says there are times when people walk into her establishment, see her face and state that they think they’ve walked into the wrong place.
It’s actually quite surprising that people are so shocked to see Martha-Renée considering the restaurant, which also serves English food, states quite plainly that it’s Afro-Caribbean. Kolleh, who has been in business for two years in a predominately community, says she might have to close the place if people continue walking in and out.
She told The Independent that this restaurant is her livelihood and helps support her three children: “If my business does not improve I will have to pack up in just a number of months. I am a qualified chef, and if I worked anywhere else I would be lost. I am here to cook and I am good at it so it’s such a shame people won’t come in here.”
Kolleh’s sign was received with mixed reviews. Some found it amusing and others were offended. She told The Independent : “Some people find the sign amusing and they say ‘oh yes it’s about time you put that up’, so I think they all realise what’s going on here. Some others just read it and walk away. I’ve heard one or two swearwords as well regarding the notice,” she told the paper.
What do you think of Kolleh’s sign? Do you think it will help or hurt her business?