Despite what Premier Francois Legault says, many Montrealers are willing to acknowledge systemic racism in Quebec and work towards solutions. Alongside problems of implicit bias that effect hiring and decision making at all levels, historically, specific (and by specific, we mean black) neighbourhoods and people of colour have had increased trouble obtaining the means to pursue opportunities, which has had a knock down effect on the growth of wealth in black communities.
Untangling and solving issues of racism in Quebec is a challenge, not least because current government leadership doesn’t want even to acknowledge it exists. But for those of us who want a low hanging fruit, we can make a point of frequenting businesses run by black business owners. And since Montrealers love to eat, restaurants are a particularly win-win.
A number of people have contributed to creating a rather thorough list and map of restaurants owned by black individuals in Montreal. They represent a wide variety of cuisines, including Haitian, Caribbean, African, Creole, as well as more typical north American fare like gyros, bagels, and burgers. At present, there are 114 on the list, arranged by neighbourhood, and also including information about delivery and an associated website.
Some much loved favourites include Le Nil Bleu, Boom J’s Cuisine, Queen of Sheba, Marquis Yasolo, the Carribean Curry House, Meli-Melo, and Le Virunga. One thing most Montrealers can get behind is eating yummy food. Many offer delivery or have take out because of COVID-19. If you want to go the extra mile, call the restaurant and see if you can picking up your order yourself, rather than using UBER, Door Dash, or SkipTheDishes; restaurants have to pay to access those services.
If you’d like to check out the list, head HERE to the Google spreadsheets and start eating.