Berry Accius walked into Beana’s Cafe and greeted 11-year-old Zaire Muhammad with a loud “How you doin’, nephew?” They slapped palms three times before Muhammad moved away from his table and behind the counter.
Accius admired the paintings of black women covering the walls of the adjacent Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum, then ordered navy bean pie and vegan nachos topped with nutritional yeast cheeze. It was a much-needed break from the heavy barbecue and soul food he regularly put down while working toward his goal of eating at a different black-owned restaurant every day in February.
Roughly 15 percent of Sacramento residents are black, according to 2010 Census data, but black-owned restaurants are much harder to come by. Drive down Stockton Boulevard or Florin Road and you’ll see Latinos (27 percent) and Asians (18 percent) have been more successful at running restaurants. So why not blacks, Accius asked?
“My whole thing isn’t, ‘Oh, I only want to eat black food,’” Accius said. “I just want to have the options. And far and wide, we don’t have options. That, to me, is the frustrating thing.”