Popular DC deli apologizes for ‘co-opting Black culture’

Responding to community feedback, a popular D.C. deli has apologized for naming several of its menu items after Black athletes and entertainers.

“As our company’s leaders, we have not done enough to show what we have always known to be true: that Black Lives Matter,” said Andrew Dana and Daniela Moreira, owners of Call Your Mother deli, in a statement on their website.

“Although it was never our intention, we now understand that these choices were co-opting Black culture and profiting off it, without truly paying homage.”

There were bagel sandwiches on the menu that included the names of famous singer Rihanna and former NBA basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire.

The deli also had photos on the wall of rapper Drake, who is Black and Jewish. Dana and Moreira said they wanted to honor Drake in part to celebrate Jewish diversity.

“Drake is coming off the walls and we are renaming our sandwiches,” the owners said.

The deli’s owners promised to add new members to their team to ensure there is more diversity at the company’s leadership level. They said they would train the staff on a new protocol to address safety concerns so “the police are always the last resort.”

“We will be actionable and accountable in combating structural racism by promoting equity and inclusion,” they said.

The deli has its original location at Georgia Avenue and Lamont Street in Northwest D.C. and recently opened a second location in April on Capitol Hill.

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