A record 150 vendors will line Crenshaw Blvd for the second annual Taste of Soul October 13, where food lovers and aficionados can look forward to sampling everything from peach cobbler to seafood gumbo. Coming back this year are the live cooking demonstration stage and several pavilions for: health awareness, kids safety and career recruitment. Event creators, The Los Angeles Sentinel and V100 are expecting at least 50,000 people to pack the boulevard once again at an event initially intended as sort of a neighborhood get together.
“A remarkable show of unity,” was the best way Los Angeles Councilman Herb Wesson was able to describe last year’s event, which shut down one of L.A.’s most frequented thoroughfares from King Boulevard to Coliseum Street.
So far, artists like Angie Stone, Rashaan Patterson, Gary Taylor, Evelyn “Champagne” King, Leon Ware and the Polyester Players are scheduled to perform and TV Chef G. Garvin (“Turn Up the Heat.”) will be back with his live cooking demos.
“It was so wonderful to see so many people come together because I believe it was close to 35,000,” said soul food maven Chef Marilyn Cole whose fans can look forward to delectables like lemon cake, homemade bread pudding, ox tails and smothered chicken.
“It was peaceful, Black people showing that we can get together and not have any problems. It was all peace and love and a fabulous event and that’s why we’re looking forward to doing it again this year…”
However, that fact seemed to be lost on main stream media as the only coverage of the event came through it’s own sponsoring media outlets.
“Don’t you find it ironic that when more than 40,000 African Americans came together for Taste of Soul without a single incident, not one single White media organization could be found,” asked Sentinel President and COO Danny Bakewell Jr. in a scathing October 2006 editorial.
Perhaps even more vendors and an extra block added to the “shut down” area (it will be closed all the way to Rodeo) may bring at least a news van or two.