It was summer 2005 and the conference room at the Los Angeles Sentinel office was abuzz. Sentinel Publisher/ CEO Danny Bakewell Sr. had come up with an idea.
“We are going to have a food festival,” he told the staff.
There would be food vendors, entertainment and a variety of community services free and open to the community. He and the staff (led by the late Brenda Marsh-Mitchell) worked out the details and about four months after the initial meeting Crenshaw Blvd. between Martin Luther King Blvd. and Rodeo Rd. was packed. About 35,000 people showed up on October 16 that year to celebrate what was the first annual Taste of Soul Food and Family Festival.