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Russell's Gourmet Coffee In Atlanta, Georgia

Source: Howell Designs / Howell Designs

As Black Lives Matter protests spread across the country, so too has the call for major corporations to affirm their commitment to combating systemic racism. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Rayshard Brooks at the hands of police in recent months has led to a flurry of corporate pledges to support organizations committed to racial justice and equity and sponsor diversity training for their employees.

Among the corporations vowing to stand with Black people is Starbucks. On June 1, the coffee retailer made its first statement, tweeting it would “stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers, and communities.” This short tweet was followed by a more in-depth statement committing to support Black Lives Matter and confront bias and racism and be “a part of change.” Starbucks also pledged to donate $1 million to “organizations promoting racial equity and more inclusive and just communities.”

Good stuff, right? That was until Starbucks employees informed Buzzfeed that the company prohibited them from wearing Black Lives Matter attire due to its dress code policy. The same dress code policy that also includes any type of political, religious, or personal accessories or clothing. However, the gag is that employees stated Starbucks made an exception for attire celebrating LGBTQ rights and marriage equality and even issues attire and accessories supporting the cause.

So yeah, people are not too happy with Starbucks right now. I am thinking maybe we should have told them to “pull up and shut up” because now that they have been called out, they are back peddling to clean things up. Starbucks followed up with company shirts supporting the Black Live Matter Movement, claiming that this is the reason they prohibited the attire. However, we aren’t buying it, and some are vowing not to buy their coffee either.

For those who are looking for a Starbucks alternative, we present a list of 11 black-owned coffee businesses that clearly got the quality beans you need to get your coffee fix.

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee

Russell’s Gourmet Coffee focuses on healthy and organic coffees and beverages “that are not only good for you but taste great as well.” The eight-year-old business has operations in the San Francisco Bay Area and Atlanta, GA, and an online shop where you can order from a variety of flavors such as Banana Nut Rum and Bourbon Pecan Torte.

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