Being a small-business owner is difficult enough in this economy, but for British café owner Martha-Renee Kolleh, running her business also means facing a daily dose of discrimination, courtesy of some of the locals who stop by her shop.
Kolleh owns the Yeanon Café, located in the mostly white town of Ossett, in West Yorkshire, England. The black mother of three reports it’s obvious that some customers are uncomfortable with her race and will abruptly leave just as soon as they spy her standing behind the counter.
However, when Kolleh’s assistant, Tracey, who is a white woman, works at the counter, customers never bolt for the door and business remains brisk.
Tired of being reminded that her race makes others uncomfortable, Kolleh recently posted a sign on her shop’s front door that reads, in part, “I am a Black woman and always will be. If you are allergic to Black people, don’t come in!”
Since posting the sign, the Yeanon Café has received an outpouring of support on its Facebook page, while Kolleh says that in person, the reaction has been mixed.
“Some people find it amusing. They were laughing and said, ‘Oh, yes, it’s about time you put that up…’ ” she said. “And some others just read it and walk away. I’ve heard one or two swear words as well regarding the notice.”
What’s your reaction to Kolleh’s sign—overkill, or totally on point? Let us know in the Comments.