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Contemporary Main Street: More than Java Cafe

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In 1972, Governor George Wallace of Alabama, while running for president, was campaigning in Laurel, Maryland when he was shot.  Wallace was the icon of hate.  In the many years prior, and for many years to come, Laurel would be no stranger to racial tensions. From cross burnings to Klan rallies, Laurel, and its Main Street was once a hotbed of such tensions.  In 1967, four men and a juvenile engaged in an apparent initiation ceremony into the Ku Klux Klan by attempting arson of a home in the predominantly African American neighborhood of Laurel Grove in Laurel, Maryland.

Racism in Laurel MD Gov. Wallace

As I walked down Main Street on this blistering humid 100 degree Summer afternoon, I could see remnants of Klan activity, of course these are only in my mind.  However, the look and feel of Main Street screams confederate flag territory. Then you stumble upon an oasis in the desert, More Than Java Cafe’ – a family owned Cafe.

 

African Peace Lily

When you walk inside the air smells like an African peace lily.  It is a refuge from the sun and the menu invites you to desire more than you can drink or eat.  I was on a mission. There were a plethora of options from coconut cake, wine ice cream, smoothies and cold sandwiches (vegan/vegetarian). A friend had been there just a week ago and marveled at the watermelon ginger juice.  I scanned the menu for what seemed like a lifetime before giving up.  ‘Excuse me… a friend recommended watermelon ginger juice, do you have any today”, I asked.  From behind the counter a very nice lady pointed me to a glass fridge but they were sold out.  I was disappointed but quickly refocused on the menu board of delights.  Green Machine Smoothie it is!

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