The community is vibrant, filled with large food festivals and support groups like Black Vegans Rock and Badillo's Portland Vegans of Color that aim to empower, educate, and celebrate the contributions of vegans of color. Activist Aph Ko was so fed up with the idea that "veganism is white" that in 2015, she decided to compile a list of prominent black vegans to show many people were out there. Her efforts resulted in a list of 100 people, ranging from the civil rights activist Coretta Scott King to cookbook authors like Afya Ibomu, that was widely circulated. It was the first time someone had compiled undeniable proof that veganism was thriving in communities of color. It was a turning point, says Claiborne: "I thought I lived in a bubble, that black vegans only existed in big cities, but then I realized that we are everywhere."
In the handful of years since Ko's list, the community has continued to expand rapidly, with some members managing to break into the mainstream. 2017 saw the release of black vegan chef Bryant Terry’s popular cookbook Afro-Vegan, which saw an incredible amount of success, selling 50,000 copies since it was released. "We are happy with the sales of this book and it is doing very well in a crowded market. Ten Speed is also doing a second book with Bryant Terry that should publish next year," says Erin Welke, a senior publicist at the publishing house. Alongside Terry, a handful of vegan cookbooks written by vegans of color (including Claiborne) will be released by big-name publishing houses like Random House this year, as well. POC-owned vegan restaurants are now more common than ever, and continue to open across the country. And more black celebrities are publicly jumping on the vegan train, including RZA, Venus Williams, and Beyoncé, with the launch of her 22-day vegan diet plan.