A black café owner in a predominantly white town in England is fighting back against customers who she says are racist.
Martha-Renée Kolleh, a mother of three and owner of Yeanon Café in Ossett, West Yorkshire, recently posted a straightforward message to would-be racists on her restaurant’s front door, The Independent reports. The sign 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.”
Here’s a picture of the sign:
Kolleh told BBC News that she decided to put up the sign after experiencing racism in the town for the past two years. “I was just venting my frustration,” she said. “People would walk into the café, take one look at me and walk out.”
Kolleh was further convinced of her customers’ racist inclinations when she observed that business at the restaurant seemed better when her white employee Tracy was working. "But when Tracy is not working and I’m working, nobody comes in,” she told BBC.
Kolleh said she thinks her customers' racist tendencies are hurting her business and affecting her ability to support her family.
“If my business does not improve I will have to pack up in just a number of months," she told The Independent.
Supporters of Kolleh took to her café’s Facebook page to voice their opinions:
Another had this to say:
But others were skeptical that the customer response Kolleh observed was racist:
Kolleh told BBC that although her restaurant serves her native Afro-Carribean food, it also serves traditional English staples.
(Hat tip: Gawker.)
Start your workday the right way with the news that matters most. Learn more