Atlanta stepped up in a major way to help iconic Black-owned Burger establishment Slutty Vegan after it was the target of a negative food review campaign from racist Internet trolls.
During the early part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Slutty Vegan provided free meals to first responders, including police officers. To stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests that swept across the country after the news of victims like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were killed at the hands of police the burger restaurant announced that they would no longer provide free meals to police officers. The news incensed “Blue Lives Matter” internet trolls who began flooding business pages such as Yelp and Google with negative one-star reviews.
In response, the community rallied around owner Pinky Cole with more than 18,000 positive reviews for her restaurant in three days.
Slutty Vegan rewarded the public with free food for the entire day after celebrities like La La Anthony, Chris Paul, Ludacris and Gabrielle Union pitched in sponsor the meals on June 30.
As reported on MadameNoire, Cole announced that she, along with other local business owners, were providing the family of Rayshard Brooks with a car, life insurance and his children a full-ride scholarship to Clark Atlanta University. 27-year-old Brooks received national attention after he was shot and killed by Atlanta police after falling asleep at a local Wendy’s. Following the news of other high-profile Black deaths at the hands of police Black Lives Matter protests took over the country.
Cole, a 32-year-old graduate of Clark Atlanta University, has been a long time benefactor of her community. She regularly provides free meals to nursing homes, helped pay the tuition of 30 Clark Atlanta students and spearheaded the effort to pay for the funeral services of Nigel Cole, a 15-year-old gay teen who took his life last year after sustaining cruel bullying.