Memphis, Tennessee’s Cxffeeblack is no stranger to collaborations with a streetwear bent. The brand behind the Anti Gentrification Cxffee Club cafe has put out some of the best apparel in specialty coffee over the past few years, collaborating both with non-coffee designers like RJV Collectives as well as coffee brand Department of Brewology.
And with their latest collaboration might be their most ambitious yet. Working with SoGiv Shoes, Cxffeeblack is releasing the limited-edition Pan-African Cxffeeblack Runner, and the proceeds will go to provide a life-changing experience for budding coffee professionals in the United States and Africa.
And as cool as these sneakers are, the mission they are going to fund is even better. The shoes serve as the “primary fundraising engine for the Black barista exchange program,” a program to both bring young coffee professionals in Africa to the United States to train as well as send Black American baristas to origin. It works in two parts. First, Cxffeeblack will bring four African baristas to Memphis to train at the Anti-Gentrification Cxffee Club, ending in a trip to the Color of Coffee Symposium taking place in March 2024 in Houston, Texas. The second half of the exchange will see four “African-American aspiring coffee nerds” heading out on an origin trip to Africa for a chance to learn “from baristas at origin about the histories and traditions of Black Coffee culture in the motherland.”
But in order for this mission to come to fruition, Cxffeeblack will need to raise the funds. Luckily, these sneakers should haven’t much trouble selling. Now in pre-order, the Pan-African Cxffeeblack Runner is currently selling for $150 via the Cxffeeblack website, with an expected ship date in late March (unless Cxffeeblack receives 1,000 pre-orders before the end of 2023, which would push up the shipment date of the first run to late summer).