Mapping discrimination: A ‘shopping and dining while black’ tracker

If the incidents seem to be coming fast and furious, you’re not imagining things. (Not to mention the other “fill-in-the-blank” while black cases).

Many of the chain restaurants and retailers Americans frequent have been caught in the act, with social media and news coverage essentially outing employees who jump to conclusions and make erroneous assumptions about black customers.

Guess what? According to the 2018 report “Black Dollars Matter: The Sales Impact of Black Consumers” from Nielsen, black consumers account for more some $1.2 trillion in purchases each year.

Starbucks made a start on making amends on May 29, with its half-day shutdown of stores to provide bias training to its employees coast-to-coast.


We are going to keep track of the incidents, starting with the year 2018. The map below includes cases of shopping and dining while black that have been documented on social media and via news reports. We are going to continue to update it throughout the year and use it as a reporting tool around this issue.


To be included in this project one or more of the following must be true of an incident:

  • police and/or security were involved
  • the incident was captured on video and shared via social media or a news organization
  • the company took action as a response (e.g. firing an employee, admitting fault, closing the store)

If you hear of a case in your area, please send a link to the information (article or social media posting, for example) to our editor Holly Edgell. Her email address is:

Check out related Sharing America coverage:

After Starbucks Fiasco, Hartford Coffeehouse Gets Its Own Anti-Bias Training

Nordstrom Rack incident leaves St. Louis teen skeptical about racial bias training

What is ‘racial bias training’? As Starbucks breaks to learn, we ask an expert

Good Service Is A Coin Toss For Those ‘Dining While Black’

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