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John Lewis + John Salley Are Black In America

By June 29, 2020January 23rd, 2024No Comments
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Episode #529



Today I reconnect with my friends John Salley & John Lewis to discuss the black experience, race in America, food injustice, and where we go from here.

A legit living legend, John Salley is the first basketball player in history to win four NBA championships with three different teams — the Pistons, Bulls & Lakers — in three different decades. Since retiring in 2000, John has been a consistent media presence across television, radio, film and new media — appearing on countless programs as a host, commentator and creator.

A long-time vegan, Salley is also a passionate animal rights and healthy nutrition advocate (which we discussed in RRP 180). In addition, he’s an absolutely relentless entrepreneur, involved in a myriad of enterprises from vegan wine to cannabis. John’s latest venture is Cafe Organix, a new plant-based restaurant he launched to help eradicate the food deserts that plague the Black and Brown communities of San Bernardino, California.

A prominent, ultra-positive voice in the vegan movement, John Lewis— aka The Badass Vegan — is a public speaker, personal trainer, and entrepreneur who can now add filmmaker to the resume. In partnership with mutual friend Keegan Kuhn (RRP 91, 176, 278, & 397), the co-director behind Cowspiracy, What The Health, and Running For Good, John is inching towards completion of They’re Trying To Kill Us — a powerful upcoming documentary that examines the impact of food & health injustice on disenfranchised African American communities (a subject I first explored with John in RRP 260).

You’re not going to be liked by everybody but if someone’s going to hate you – let them hate you for doing the right thing.

John LewisMD

Busting traditional vegan stereotypes with a unique ability positively impact a wide diversity of people, John’s story and broad smile has appeared on multiple television shows and in such publications as Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Thrive, Origin, Maxim, and even Sports Illustrated.

Today we break bread. Black Lives Matter. Police misconduct. The pernicious nature of systemic racism. How religious institutions embed white supremacy.

We also discuss the importance of black leadership and entrepreneurship. And we close with thoughts on food injustice — how our broken food system negatively and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

But most of all, this is a conversation about what is necessary to make things right. What black and brown communities need from white allies. And the ways in which we can grow, change, and do better — together.

Note: Click here to check out the recently released and incredibly compelling trailer for They’re Trying To Kill Us. Then visit the film’s Indiegogo campaign to learn how you can support the film.

It’s time to end racism and the only way is to end it together.

– John Lewis

Language Advisory: This one is packed with expletives, so pop on the earbuds if you got kiddos in the backseat.

Finally, I suspect this will be an uncomfortable conversation for some; maybe for many. I invite you to listen or watch with an open mind and heart.

Notwithstanding, these guys are a total blast. I love them both. I’m grateful for their friendship — and their honesty.

The visually inclined can watch our conversation on YouTube. And as always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Strap in.

Peace + Plants,

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Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; portraits by Davy Greenberg; and theme music by Tyler Piatt. Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.