EatOkra is an innovative smartphone application that connects consumers with over 800 Black-owned restaurants in the United States.
Co-Founder and Developer of EatOkra, Anthony Edwards Jr., released his app in response to a technology gap where he and his fiancé would find themselves directed to the same food spaces online and to preserve Black fellowship after racial profiling of Black people increased in public spaces.
EatOkra has proved to be a source for finding safe spaces to eat. During the Philadelphia Starbucks and Alabama Waffle House incidents, Edwards found a direct increase in the app’s usage. “Our app is a necessity in locating those safe places to meet and eat without fear or profiling and harassment,” Edwards said.
Originally developed to find new food spaces in Brooklyn, EatOkra extended its reach to other major cities when Edwards realized there wasn’t a space where people could find Black-owned restaurants at once.
With the help of Co-Founder, Janique Bradley and Designer, Justin Johnson, they created an expansive database that enlisted help from black chefs, restaurant owners and users who compiled data on restaurants and food and drink spaces across the diaspora.
Now, users seeking restaurants and other food spaces can find Black-owned businesses, both trendy and mom and pop, in more than 15 major cities and the District of Columbia. If users happen to see that the app is missing a hot spot, they can add businesses on EatOkra’s website or the app itself.
The Milwaukee Community Journal said that EatOkra is “The new green book guide for Black restaurant hunters,” considering its innovative idea to connect Black people to Black businesses. As for the app’s name, Edwards said, “We chose okra because it was a common seed slaves brought with them during the slave trade.” So the app is also a nod to Black history.
The EatOkra app is available for download on Android and iOS devices. More information about the app, check out www.eatokra.com.