Cafe owner 'warns' customers she is black


A café owner has put up a sign to alert customers to her ethnicity because she is sick of people leaving when they see the colour of her skin, according to a BBC News report.

The sign on the door of Yeanon Cafe in Ossett, West Yorkshire, reads: "Attention! Everyone be aware, I am a black woman and always will be. If you are allergic to black people, don't come in."

Martha-Renée Kolleh said she put up the sign in the window of her café because of the way she has been treated by some customers.

She told BBC Radio Leeds: "They just open the door of my cafe and once they take a look at me they walk out"

Ms Kolleh added that she has had mixed reaction to the sign, which also says that the cafe serves "quality wholesome meals."

"Some people find it amusing, they were laughing and said 'oh yes it's about time you put that up', so I think they all realise what's going on here," she said.

"And some others just read it and walk away. I've heard one or two swear words as well regarding the notice."

Ethnic minority
Figures for the ethnicity from the 2001 Census show that Ossett's population is 98.9% white.
The single mother-of-three has run the cafe for two years, serving a mixture of British, Afro-Caribbean and South American specialities like pulled pork, oxtail and goat curries.

Ms Kolleh told BBC Radio Leeds a lot of people in Ossett had supported her, including many positive messages on her Facebook page, but if business did not improve she would have to close by autumn.

Just as Ms Kolleh is the victim of discrimination from her customers, a gay couple were discriminated against as customers when checking into a B&B in 2010.

Owner Susanne Wilkinson, a committed Christian, refused to let Michael Black, 64, and partner John Morgan, 59, have the room at the Swiss Bed and Breakfast in Cookham, Berkshire, in March 2010.

Yesterday, Ms Wilkinson lost her appeal against a ruling that she unlawfully discriminated against the gay couple.

The Huffington Post reports that James Welch, legal director of rights campaign group Liberty, said the ruling should "mark the end of out-of-date 'no gays' policies which are as intolerable as those referring to a person's race, gender or religion."

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