THE TRUCK IS HAPPENING!
You guys made this happen! Taharka Brothers thanks everyone from the bottom of our hearts. Baltimorians hear this: You will see our pinkness around our fine city! Brothers from another mother out there: know that your generosity is making the world a colder and tastier place!
Although we reached our goal, people can still make a pledge. We would like to create a cool app that will allow people to track the truck location, get information on events, and be able to give feedback on your experience at the truck, etc. This will allow you to be connected to us ALL the time! So family please keep pushing to the end!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU and you will get photos when this baby is street worthy! HAPPY SUMMER!
Your Big Brothers,
WHY A TRUCK?
We have a sizable presence in Baltimore due to our product being sold in over 60+ establishments, but our message of empowerment is felt very little in the streets deep within hoods that need us most. We need your help to change this. Once street ready, we'll be taking our message and cold goodness to block parties, political events, school dances, musical festivals, outdoor screenings and every thing in between. Help us get to our goal! We need to rehab this vehicle, the "green machine"(see video above), and turn it into a bad-ass "vehicle for change" ice cream truck to take our work of combining social change, community activism, and award-winning ice cream directly to the people in the streets of Baltimore.
THE TAHARKA BROTHERS STORY
Back in '10 we were talking about the lack of job opportunities for young black men in Baltimore. We discussed the idea of owning our own business and paving our own path. We, repping various parts of a city steeped in struggle, thought hard about friends, families, futures, hopes, 'hoods and heroes. We asked ourselves some hard questions. Could we promote peace, social and economic justice to the people of Baltimore through starting our own business? Could we make a good living and have BIG fun? We thought on things that have inspired us like the election of the first black man to the White House and the sung and unsung human rights warriors who have made our world a more just place. We meditated on the struggles in the 'hood, the music that inspires us and the writers and poets that sustain us. And of course we contemplated food - good food - and those who go without. We believed we could create a little sumthin' that might, if done right, make a big difference (in a small way) in both our lives and the lives of others.
What did we come up with? TAHARKA BROTHERS Homemade Ice Creams and Sorbets, no doubt!
We have developed flavors and names dedicated to the lives of "people power" change makers and artists who've used their talents to speak peace, love and justice to the world -- social justice with a cherry on top!
Some of our flavors and their inspiration:
A Dream Preferred (toasted coconut ice cream with a Haitian Bobancourt rhum and raisin swirl, brown sugar toffee pieces, chocolate covered pop rocks). Inspiration: The poem 'Harlem' (Dream Deferred) by Langston Hughes. Funkified fact: Hughes loved penny candy. Coconut candy bars of the era (1930's) were his favorite candy item to eat!
Zinn Meditation (peach Lavender ice cream with rye shortbread crumbles. Inspiration? The work of American professor/historian/ author/playwright/social activist, Howard Zinn, author of the book, 'A People's History of the United States'. Zinn: "If democracy were to be given any meaning, if it were to go beyond the limits of capitalism and nationalism, this would not come, if history were any guide, from the top. It would come through citizen's movements, educating, organizing, agitating, striking, boycotting, demonstrating, threatening those in power with disruption of the stability they needed." Funkified fact: Zinn was professor of history at Spelman College in Atlanta from 1956 to 1963 and became active in the civil rights movement of that era mentoring student activists, among them Alice Walker who would later write 'The Color Purple'. Zinn was later fired by Spelman College for supporting student protesters.
Pryor Knowledge...(of the "N"-Word) (Nutella Chocolate ice cream with nougat, Candied nuts, Nutmeg, NY Cheesecake, Nutter Butter Cookies (notice a pattern? IT'S THE "N"-WORDS!). How many "N"-word ingredients can we can stuff into a pint of ice cream and have it taste awesome?!.. Inspirations: The life, times and socio-racial/political commentary laced comedy of comedian Richard Pryor who had a knack for turning the terrible into the terribly funny! This creation, in flavor form, tells the tale of Pryor's journey through his embrace/use of the word nigger in his late '60s stand up routines and his later disuse of the word by the start of the 1980s. Funkified fact: Pryor visited Kenya, Africa in 1979 on the advice of his psychiatrist. There, among the Kenyan people he had an epiphany; 'A voice said, "do you see any niggers" and I said, no. And it said, "do you know why? 'Cause there aren't any!" And it hit me like a shot, man! I started crying and shit! I was sittin' there and....."
The Jazz Man's Blues (Blueberry ice cream with a blueberry and Jasmine flower swirl. Get it?) Inspiration: The Martin Luther King, Jr. rooted philosophy of Professor Cornel West. This joint right here has manifested in food form the self definition of Brother West as a "Blues man in the life of the Mind and a Jazz man in the world of ideas." Funkified fact: Brother West is almost always seen wearing the same exact wardrobe every day--a black three piece suit, white collared shirt, black tie. The outfit, he has stated, is his funeral clothing, given that he's ready to go at any moment!
Chocka Khan's Good Morning & the Savoring of the South Side's Sweet Things (Maple ice cream with hominy grits, real maple syrup swirl, dark chocolate chips, and country smoked bacon bits cooked in cayenne pepper Inspiration: The life, times, music, chocolate covered beauty and social activism of Chaka Khan. This concoction, through its ingredients, shares some insights into Khan's life, detailed deliciously, touching on her beauty (the Bros here gotta thang for Khan!), her classic R&B/funk hit music, her south side of Chicago roots, and her social activism in the late 1960s. Funkified fact: Khan, while still in high school in the '60s, volunteered for the local Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party becoming friends with the late Panther leader, Fred Hampton. Khan, having a love for children, spent her time as a Panther working in the organization's greatly needed breakfast program for poor/hungry school children. She volunteered her time early in the morning before going to school herself.
Mookie's Theme & The Triple Truth...Ruth: Special Dedication & Delivery at Love Daddy's (This is a Pizza ice cream! An Heirloom Robeson Tomato based Ice Cream with pieces of Pepperoni! Inspiration: This "Joint" is inspired by the events surrounding young pizza delivery man, Mookie, in the film 'Do The Right Thing' which takes place on the hottest day of the year on a Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York city block where racial tensions explode between Koreans, African Americans, Latinos and Italians. Funkified fact: Lee sought out a musical anthem for the film and approached the hottest group of that time to record it--Public Enemy. The group, enjoying mainstream American and international popularity by 1989, offered the director the song 'Fight The Power'. The song, a hit from the moment of its release, is not an original composition. It is a remake of another hit song of the same name by the legendary and beloved R&B group the Isley Brothers.
We make small batch gourmet ice cream 6 days a week. We use as many locally and direct sourced ingredients as possible. Our cocoa is direct sourced from farmers in Haiti (read Forbes article for more info) and we get our summer produce from local farmers, such as 5 Seeds Farm an urban farm, here in B-more.
Taharka is majority owned and operated by urban young men, all under the age of 24. We are a Benefit Corpration (for-profit) and for-community enterprise which uses it's award-winning ice cream and business initiatives to help bring about a better, brighter, and more "taharkafied" world. We advocate cultural understanding, economic and social justice, civic involvement, civil protest and joy!
We can make a difference in our community and so can YOU! So, we're raising funds for the construction of our "Vehicle for Change" ice cream mobile. Selling our ice cream in over 60 local restaurants, scoop shops, farm stores and indie groceries (from PA down to VA) we feel it’s time to take our unique brand of ice cream flavors to the street. The truck is a way to take our mission of bringing power to the people to another level...the street level.
We are working with several Baltimore builders who are all going to help us make our truck dream come true. We have budgeted it our carefully, and some of the things we need to pay for are: The interior walls, a generator, water tank, a window and counter, permits, and insurance. This will be a special truck that we hope will be recognized around town as not just a way to sell ice cream but also as standing for something in the community. Some sketches below.
We have an old green truck that we intend to Taharka-fy the hell out of!!! We have it all ready to go. Priced out, materials sourced and local craftsman waiting to start turning our big green machine into the most suped up, pimped out, community-loving ice cream delivery device on the planet!
Know this: This is a people party and party people truck! An incite delight type of truck! An encourage the people to fight for their right type of truck!
So sistahs and brothers, visualize an ice cream truck like no other: Hot electric pink, monster tires with chrome rims (spinnin'! Yes, spinnin'!) And, say wha'? What's that sound? Yeah, that's us rollin' 'round your way bumpin' loud n' proud with that struggle music--that get together and hustle music-- that fight the good fight type of music--that people get ready (theres a train a comin') music! You will hear us coming as we honor the work of Curtis Mayfield, Bob Dylan, Public Enemy, The Wailers, Common, The Clash, Funkadelic, John Lennon, Pete Seeger, Lupe Fiasco, A Tribe Called Quest and Queen Latifah -- all heroes to us.
Forbes | Marc Steiner | Fox 29 | Baltimore Magazine | Edible DC |
Philadelphia Biz Journal | Baltimore Sun |
Shout out to:
Maryland Institute College of Arts Alumni's
Maryland Film Festival
Tribeca Film Festival
Risks and challenges
The construction of the truck will not be a problem because we have carefully sourced everything, hired the contractors and have the construction of the truck blueprinted from bumper to bumper.
Permits have been researched and safety and health inspection criteria is known and been factored into budget. We will release more photos and sketches of the truck throughout the course of the campaign.
Our biggest challenge is the operating costs of the truck, if anything was to happen to it as far as mechanical repairs. It has gotten a full bill of health from our favorite mechanic Mike, but if anything went wrong it would really really suck. Also there is high crime in Baltimore, so we will have to keep our truck safe and sound.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)