Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta is unfortunately no stranger to having accusations of discrimination toward its patrons of color. They’ve had discrimination lawsuits filed against them in the past, and now another instance of social action is upon us due to more allegedly ridiculous actions of the eatery.
Atlanta-born celebrities including T.I., Killer Mike, and Yandy Smith-Harris have shown up and showed out for protests against Houston’s in the last week.
The boycott started this time around after specific incidents where the restaurant told Black customers they couldn’t seat their large party, and after they offered to split up into two different parties, they couldn’t seat them either. Yandy gave an anecdote from her own experience about this same situation: “[I’ve seen] parties of seven that just didn’t look like us seated,” Smith-Harris explained in the above video from the protest. “We’ve been told that we have to leave the restaurant. There was even a group of us, and we split in two. They told us, ‘We won’t seat you guys because we don’t want you screaming across the restaurant.’ That’s profiling. I don’t scream across restaurants.’”
Because so many of Atlanta’s Black consumers and entertainers put their money into Houston’s, this boycott is important in showing just how powerful their dollar is. The restaurant issued a now-deleted statement on Instagram saying, “Charges of discrimination are not only unfounded but are an intentional manipulation using social media…Our policies and guidelines apply equally to everyone.”