It’s almost over, but I hope you’ve had the opportunity to observe Black History Month during February 2022. Black Americans have contributed much to the food culture and I love to cook. So, my observance usually includes reading about and making foods that were invented or inspired by Black people and culture. It’s interesting to read about how and why certain recipes were created. Many favorite American foods owe their origins to people who were very creative, often with very limited ingredients. A Google search will keep you reading for a while! Then, enjoy cooking and eating together.
Another great read would be a book on a Black individual. One of my favorites has always been George Washington Carver, who was actually born into slavery in Missouri. His life is a remarkable story of hard work and accomplishments that still benefit us today. His work in agriculture was instrumental in developing our nation’s abundant food supply.
A Pocketful of Goobers
by Barbara Mitchell
“George Carver was about a year old when freedom came to the slaves, maybe a bit older. He never knew for sure. Nobody bothered to write down when slave babies were born. Slave babies didn’t even have last names. They just took the name of the family that owned them. Their mothers remembered the day they were born, of course. But George could not ask his mother about it… “
Sports fans should check out Jesse Owens, gold medalist in the 200-meter final at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. His win defied Adolph Hitler, who watched and seethed with anger. The silver medalist in that same race, Mack Robinson, was another Black runner. His famous brother, Jackie Robinson, broke baseball’s color barrier. The athletic world, past and present, is full of amazing Black competitors with great stories.
“…until 1947, many fine athletes were barred from entering the major leagues – not because they weren’t good enough, but because of the color of their skin. Then, one gifted baseball player and remarkable human being smashed the barrier forever. His name was Jackie Robinson.”
Music lovers may read about Louis Armstrong. Was there ever another voice quite like Louie’s?! Duke Ellington composed, performed, and popularized jazz. Scott Joplin composed some of America’s most beloved (and fun to play) songs. And the Marsalis family seems to have no end of talent. Read about a Black musician, or maybe test your musical talents on some of their compositions.
I could go on, but you get the point. Black Americans have done great things, contributed greatly to our culture, and have some incredibly interesting and amazing histories. So get the kitchen cooking, the music playing, and a good book or article ready to read as you go into this last weekend of February. There is so much to learn and explore.
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