February is a joyous month honoring leadership, celebrating love and praising our culture. Starting the month of festivities is African Heritage & Health week. A week long celebration encouraging African-Americans to return to their roots and rediscover cooking techniques and ingredients their ancestors ate before the age of processed food.
In 2011, Oldways, an organization dedicated to teaching nutrition and good food via culture and heritage, introduced the African Heritage Diet Pyramid. It was created by experts in African American history, cuisine, nutrition, and public health. The ingredients listed are commonly found in recipes from North America, Africa, the Caribbean and South America. Dishes made with African Diaspora ingredients are generally healthier than some soul food dishes ‘invented’ or ‘revised’ within the last 60 years. Continue reading
Posted in African Heritage & Health Week, Desserts, Drinks, Kwanzaa Recipes, Valentine's Day, Winter
Tagged African Heritage and Health Week, African Heritage Diet Pyramid, black pepper, cardamon seeds, chili, chili pepper, coconut milk, cumin, hot chocolate, Hot Spiced Coconut Chocolate Milk, Oldways, spices, star anise
The generation who actually heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, I Have a Dream, in 1963, were closer to the realities of slavery. They were the babies who bounced on their grandparents laps. Their grandparents were the babies of former slaves. Perhaps, after slavery, people should have been content with just living. Maybe the next generation should have been fine with living within a “separate but equal” culture of hate. I suppose my generation should be happy to pretend Affirmative Action isn’t needed, and the reality of living in at least the middle class is fading into a dream of the past. Luckily for us, each generation was never content as they continued to march for their rights over the foundation of their ancestor’s sacrifice. They were the brave who dared to dream.
In honor of my Great-Grandparents who crossed the Atlantic ocean towards an unknown land, those who worked the fields from sunrise to sunset, those who wandered the South looking for lost loved ones after the Emancipation Proclamation, those who took a chance to move away from what they knew to venture out west and own a ranch on acres of land, those who joined the military and returned to marching against segregation, the grandfathers who worked in Detroit’s car factories, and those who would become the first kids in the family to earn a college degree… to them, it would be easy for me to live in peace. Continue reading