When we (my humble staff consisting of my wife Renee, our sister Mahogany Thabiti of DrippingBling.com and I) were preparing to attend this event, little did we know that we would be arriving to an event that was bigger and better than anyone could imagine. When we arrived at Heist Brewery located at 1030 Woodward Avenue in Charlotte, there were cars lined up the street and others arriving ready to park. Walking onto the colorful venue grounds, we were greeted by the various volunteers there to inform and ensure that everyone was helped and knew where things were. Vendors lined up at in multiple locations, presenting to attendees products and services that were Vegan friendly and emphasis on maintain better health. From Holistic healing to the latest gear, there was a good variety for people to choose from.
Somehow, while watching Morathi and Latise Howie, the powerful brother and sister team that organized this event on stage, I was given the honor to be a judge on the Collard Green Cooking Contest. The entries were delicious, keeping the taste and delight of Soul Food but within the confines of totally Vegan. The entries were so good; the judges had to go back for a second taste to compare the last two finalists. The winner was Adjoa Courtney, with Cooking with Joya! The flavor that those greens had, a hint of spice and tangy flavor, was enough to have my wife and I go and try the other dishes for sale at the food area for the event.
The entertainment lined up for NC Soul-Full Vegan Fest was just outstanding. From high impact dancing to double dutch, various speakers sharing knowledge on having a plant based diet, to the African Drumming Session….every event reconnected us to the Earth, and brought all there, no matter color, gender or creed, together simply as one people.
Ayanna Gregory was in the house, imparting the wisdom and knowledge passed down to her by her iconic father the late Dick Gregory. Her words about her life with her other eight the thoughts of her father and his tireless work for African Americans was simply profound.
Throughout the day, we were able to see and chat with the special guest of this event, Tabitha Brown. Now when you see and meet Tabitha Brown, its like running into an old friend, who’s smile and energy just lifts you up and carries you over to the little café table to sit and just catch up!! She and her daughter greeted fans and took time to talk to everyone there, sharing laughter and love all the time. When Tabitha got to the stage, her story of how her health and spirit was challenged and how she put her trust in God to lead and set her upon a path to where she is was nothing short of inspirational!
For this to be Morathi Howie’s first NC Soul-Full Vegan Fest, makes you shake your head. How did it flow so well? How did the vendors and participants know what to bring and what to do? To watch people co-mingle and share, how did he pull it off?
As Morathi has so poignantly stated; I am about healing humanity…..
Well done my brother, well done. Thank you for doing it for the culture!