Shopping Cart

Celebrate Black History Month

Written by: Elizabeth McCabe

February is Black History Month! It's important to celebrate Black culture all year long, but this month especially we honor Black history and pay special tribute to the achievements and contributions made by Black people. It's also a time to reflect and take action on all that remains to be done when it comes to racial inequity in America.

The story of Nathan “Nearest” Green, a formerly enslaved man who taught Jack Daniels the art of whiskey-making, came to light in recent years due to the hard work of journalists and the owner of Uncle Nearest Whiskey, Fawn Weaver.  As a a Black restaurant and real estate entrepreneur, Weaver was inspired by the story of Nathan “Nearest Green” and set out to start a whiskey distillery to honor Green's life. She and her husband bought the original farm that Green and Daniels worked on together, and in 2017, introduced Uncle Nearest 1856 to the world. 

What she found in her research was that slavery and the whiskey industry of the South were deeply interwoven, as enslaved men not only made up the bulk of the distilling labor force, but often had crucial roles in the whiskey-making process. None however, more prevalent than Nathan Green, who was loaned to a wealthy landowner and preacher who also employed a young Jack Daniel to help make whiskey. Green, who was already a skilled distiller, took Daniels under his wing, and eventually ended up working for him at his whiskey operation when he became a free man. The two formed a bond during the tumultuous post-Civil War era, but Green’s story went unknown for many years. It’s important to note that Jack Daniels never owned slaves and spoke openly about Green’s role as his mentor, and the company now recognizes Green as their first master distiller, listing Daniels second. The company's decision to recognize their debt to a former enslaved man is an important turn in history, but shows how much work we all must continue to do. 

Try Uncle Nearest Whiskey for yourself! 

Support Black businesses and Shop Black Owned Brands

Ways to Celebrate Black History Month at Home:


  • "Between the World and Me" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • "The Bluest Eye" by Toni Morrison

  • “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum

  • "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" by Michelle Alexander

  • "Ain’t I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism" by Bell Hooks

  • "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston

  • "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

  • "The Promised Land" by Barack Obama


  • "Get Out" directed by Jordan Peele

  • "12 Years a Slave" directed by Steve McQueen

  • "Selma" directed by Ava DuVernay

  • "Moonlight" directed by Barry Jenkins

  • "The Hate U Give" by Angie Thomas

  • "When They See Us" on Netflix

  • "13th" on Netflix

  • "Dear White People" on Netflix


Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Lola's Cafe
Return to top