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Virginia bakery stencils current, historical figures on bread each day of Black History Month


CHARLOTTESVILLE, V.A. (WAVY) – As February draws to a close this year, so too does an unlikely project honoring Black History Month.

Every day in February, a Charlottesville bakery turned out loaves of bread meant to educate and inspire, using flour, artistic flair and historical research.

At MarieBette Café and Bakery, each loaf bears the flour-stenciled face of notable Black figures.

February 17 was Whoopi Goldberg’s day. The bakery’s Instagram followers went wild for Meghan Markle bread on February 12, and for Lizzo on February 8.

But bakery owners Jason Becton and Patrick Evans also chose to highlight lesser-known figures, like journalist Ida B. Wells, an anti-lynching crusader and suffragette.

“A lot of people don’t know about her, but she was a really brave and important journalist,” Becton said. “It was important to us to have a different spread of people from different times in history, but also from art and culture, from STEM, from politics, to show the different contributions Black Americans have made.”

Evans is the artist behind the project, which he worked on throughout the year, along with bread stencils for Pride Month in June.

“We’re an interracial gay couple,” Becton said. “We’re celebrating who we are.”

MarieBette also celebrated who Charlottesville is as a community, selecting historical figures with local ties, such as Fountain Hughes, a local man who was born enslaved in 1848, and Rita Dove, a U.S. Poet Laureate and University of Virginia commonwealth professor.

“It was just kind of our way, a small way of celebrating Black History Month,” Becton said. “It was a way to educate people a little bit about these individuals, and to give them their day, their spotlight, in a very small and local kind of way.”

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