Ava DuVernay's Ben & Jerry's Flavor Just Made History

Ben & Jerry's ice cream has a long history of collaboration with cultural icons and celebrities. The beloved ice cream company, founded in 1978 by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in Burlington, VT, is well-known for its delicious frozen concoctions incorporating creative and palate-pleasing mix-ins. It's also known for its cleverly-named products, some of which got their inspiration from famous people. One of their top-selling Ben & Jerry's flavors of all time, Cherry Garcia, was the suggestion of an ice cream-loving Deadhead (via Ben & Jerry's) and incorporates chocolate chunks into a base of cherry ice cream. 

Since that pop inspiration struck gold, Ben & Jerry's has worked with other talented individuals to produce specialty flavors, many of which also benefit non-profit causes that are especially important to that celebrity. Phish Food was inspired by the Vermont band Phish and includes fudge-flavored fish in its base. Part of the proceeds from the ice cream help preserve and improve the waters of Lake Champlain (via Ben & Jerry's). Other well-known collaborations include Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream and Jimmy Fallon's discontinued Late Night Snack, per Yahoo! life. The latest celebrity inspiration is new in more ways than one. 

The ice cream flavor marks an historic debut

Ava DuVernay's flavor, called "Lights! Caramel! Action!" includes fan-favorite mix-ins like salted caramel, Ben & Jerry's cookie dough chunks, and graham cracker swirl, so the flavor is certainly a crowd pleaser. It's FairTrade certified and will be available in a non-dairy version made with almond milk and as a traditional dairy ice cream, per Ben & Jerry's

But it's also historic in a more important sense: film director DuVernay is the first Black woman ever to appear on a Ben & Jerry's container. DuVernay has won numerous awards and is probably best known for her documentary titled "13th," which uses the 13th Amendment as a backdrop for charting the history of racial inequality in the U.S. "13th" received numerous accolades, winning an Emmy Award and being nominated for an Oscar (via IMDb).

DuVernay's signature ice cream will help support a fund that's dear to her heart. A portion of the sales of Lights! Caramel! Action! will go to the ARRAY alliance, which DuVernay founded in 2011 in order to unite art and social impact by working to effect social change through narratives. According to People, the new history-making ice cream will start shipping nationwide in January 2023.