Good vibes and energy permeated Saturday’s, October 15, Taste of Soul event which is probably what caused the rain and clouds that filled the sky earlier that morning to disappear. The free family street festival took place on the historic Crenshaw Blvd. and attracted thousands of people from all over to enjoy food, music, performances, and much more. The event took place virtually for the past two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Vendors from all over gathered to promote their growing businesses and expressed how excited they were to have the Taste of Soul back in person.
Muralist and artist, Enkoneart (Enkone) showcased his talents as he did a live painting. People stopped and watched Enkone as he worked his magic to create an “old-school ghetto blaster.” The artist told the Sentinel that he usually does portrait work when he does live paintings
explaining how this is what people like to see. This time around, he wanted to try something different by bringing back some nostalgia.
“I’m doing an up-close version of an old school ghetto blaster,” Enkone explained. “I grew up in the Golden Era of hip-hop so that’s what we played when I was coming up; we played tapes on ghetto blasters.”
This is Ekone’s second Taste of Soul he has painted at. He expressed his excitement about being at the Taste of Soul, emphasizing how he loves seeing his people.
“I am a lover of our people and black women so I love to see high concentration of our people enjoying and spending money with each other,” he concluded.
Pamela Mayfield, owner of Pluve, sells handmade satin hair bonnets and had a variety to choose from. She voiced how the Taste of Soul is bigger and has more people than any other events she has been to. She said that a lot of the other events she does don’t have celebrities or information booths. She also called it “eclectic” with a wide variety of vendors.
When asked what was she most excited about coming to the Taste of Soul, she responded saying she was looking forward to selling.
“I have all this inventory and product so I really want it to sell out,” Pamela expressed. “I was a little scared because of the rain this year but it got better and the sales picked up.”
Cynthia Gitonga, founder of PUSH Sea Moss from Jamaica said this was her first Taste of Soul event, and thanks to radio station KJLH, who stopped and told her about it, she was able to attend. She described the event as “beautiful” saying she has never been to an event like this before.
“I feel more a part of the community in Los Angeles especially the African-American and brown community,” Cynthia said. “It’s always great to give a healthy, natural supplement back to this type of community because you know sometimes they trust doctors and sometimes they don’t so at least I can give them an alternative instead of going to the doctor.”
Author Latrice Slaughter proudly promoted four of her books which are all centered around self-love, Bully Blossom: Building Self-Esteem in Children, I Love Me Little King Lee!, I Love Me: Building Self-Esteem in Children, and I’m Happy!: Building Self-Esteem in Children. This was her 6th Taste of Soul Event as a vendor.
“I am teaching young kids to love themselves and building up their confidence,” Latrice said. “I have another book called Bully Blossom that focuses on bullying and how to put a stop to it which is a really, really huge concern in our schools.”
Lisa Bonner was on the streets promoting her business, Fabulous Fantasies Sweets & Treats. She sold what she called her “specialty dessert” that looked absolutely amazing to the public.