Why Is There No Starbucks Coffee House in Selma?

Jen Kuznicki, CNS News, March 19, 2015

Starbucks executive Corey duBrowa recently deleted his twitter account, after what he said were abusive comments as a result of his push for a campaign in which his baristas were to engage with customers about race relations.


A story from fastcocreate.com showed just what happens when you walk into a Starbucks wanting to engage in a discussion on race. Pretty much nothing. The baristas are young kids, just trying to do their job and get through the day, and are kind of embarrassed to even bring it up. I kind of feel sorry for them.


But a friend of mine named Paul made a brilliant point.

If Starbucks wants us to talk about race, let’s start with why they don’t have Starbucks Coffee Houses in some of America’s cities that are mostly black, or have had a racially charged history?

My friend looked up various cities, and found that there are no Starbucks Coffee Houses in many of them.

Places like Highland Park, Michigan, which is at the center of Detroit, is inhabited by a population that is 94 percent African-American. Or in Benton Harbor, Michigan, which is almost 90 percent African-American. There is not a Starbucks in either town.

There is not a Starbucks in East St. Louis, Illinois, in which 98 percent of the population is African-American. Nor is there one in Gary, Indiana, whose population is 85 percent African-American.

The recent remembrance of the march on Selma, Alabama, had the president walking down the street with many people who fought for civil rights, but once again, Selma doesn’t have a Starbucks. Neither does Ferguson, Missouri.

Here is the point, if Starbucks wants to have a conversation about race, perhaps they should explain why they are not accessible to most of those they claim to advocate for and champion. {snip}


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