In the late 1980’s my father owned and operated a restaurant called Cafe Afrique. His restaurant served as a hub for famous civil rights activists, freethinkers, musicians, etc. As he recounts his time there he says :
“We fed the city, famous civil rights icon Rosa Parks sat and ate with us. Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Ture, grabbed a meal, changed his clothes, spoke to us of " African scientific socialism " shouted " Free the land " and hit the door to catch an international flight ✈️ somewhere. Billy Higgins, aka, Abdullah, the most famous recorded jazz drummer in history, was my dear friend and teacher, but the fact that we took, African, Caribbean and African American food of the South and put it in one pot, cooked it in a new and fresh way that would not stop, we created an institution of higher learning, we were about the books, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and French. Man we cooked up liberation for the body, soul and mind. An institution is what Cafe Afrique was, and subsequently you could grab a great meal!”
- Baba Shaheed
Hearing my fathers words resonate, it became prevalent that taste and an entrepreneurial spirit run in my dna. My dad’s black-owned restaurant on Crenshaw boulevard was frequented by prominent African American figures. Outside of being a neighborhood staple in the late 80’s it was a hub for freethinkers. In founding Three’s Company Noir with my partner’s I felt a responsibility to create the spiritual successor to this mindset.