"A seat at the table means to
simply be included." ~ Samara Rivers
On Saturday Aug.31, the Black
Bourbon Society held a tasting event for its members at the Victory lounge
located in the CBD.
Victory's toned-down atmosphere was
the perfect spot for the event providing charm and intimacy all while getting
familiar with Russell's Reserve whiskey brand.
The BBS consists of nearly 4,000
African-Americans from various professions, globally. Perhaps what is truly
unique is that despite its name, the BBS' members have a love for the spirits
industry and they enjoy conversing about all things bourbon.
Ms. Samara Rivers, who serves as
the Chief Bourbon Enthusiast and the founder of the exclusive social club, took
lead showcasing her skills as an event planner and marketer. The Atlanta transplant works diligently to bring people of color into bed with all things Bourbon;
She touched briefly on why the BBS
is imperative to people of color and the importance of having more diversity in
the distillery industry:
"When I said, 'a seat at the
table,' I was referencing how we [African-American] are a part of the
consumership, but our voices have never been included in the history,
contextually, in presenting Bourbon. Our voices haven't been included in
marketing or even considered as to how we are more than just consumers but an
Rivers has found herself on a
mission to campaign in educating attendees during tasting events with rich
knowledge and defying the simplicity of drinking just to drink. However, that's
not where she stops on the informative Bourbon tour. This Alpha Kappa Alpha
member co-hosts a weekly podcast with her partner, Armond Davis, aptly named Bonded
in Bourbon. She also exercises her literary skills by providing monthly
content for The Bourbon Zeppelin.
She re-emphasized as to why that
seat will always have value saying, "Us having a seat at that table, us having
face at that table will always help change the narratives of how business is