33 Innovative Recipes to Honor Black History Month

Black History Month is here. Started in 1976, it is a time when we make space to pay homage to the rich, deep history of African Americans and celebrate their brilliance, perseverance, and invaluable contributions in our society. One aspect central to …

Black History Month is here. Started in 1976, it is a time when we make space to pay homage to the rich, deep history of African Americans and celebrate their brilliance, perseverance, and invaluable contributions in our society. One aspect central to this history is food, which is as diverse and nuanced as the Black experience itself.

Since 2017, Black food bloggers and content creators have come together to celebrate this joyous occasion by contributing recipes to the Black History Month Virtual Potluck. This year there is an exciting change: The potluck is now branded under Eat the Culture. Founded by Meiko Temple of Meiko and the Dish, Eat the Culture was established to create community-centered spaces that nurture, support, and amplify Black culinary creators. In addition to collaborations like this potluck, the organization also offers educational resources, virtual courses, and live events to help creatives elevate their craft and amplify the culinary heritage across the African diaspora.

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How Hoecakes Mark the Endurance & Strength of Black Americans

During the summers when my father’s mother came to visit our family, she often cooked unforgettable soul food. Her bill of fare during those months included candied yams, mashed potatoes, cobblers, and cornbread. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, durin…

During the summers when my father’s mother came to visit our family, she often cooked unforgettable soul food. Her bill of fare during those months included candied yams, mashed potatoes, cobblers, and cornbread. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, during the Great Depression, when Jim Crow laws were still in effect, my grandmother knew well the traditional practices and importance of African American cuisine. Through one dish, in particular, she took it upon herself to mark the strength and survivorship that comes with Black roots—she’d mix up a simple batter, fire up the stove, and make us hoecakes.

Doused in a thick syrup—my grandmother used Alaga Original Cane Syrup—hoecakes are a point of pride in the African American community. The dish has a simple ingredient lineup, with cornmeal as its core, and often includes milk and eggs. Today’s hoecakes are fried with oil in a skillet; but the name is a hint at origin, a reminder of our ancestors’ abilities to make something whole out of the scraps we were given. According to my grandmother, the term “hoecakes” was used because the cakes were cooked on a shovel, or hoe, over an open flame. Their very existence is another example of perseverance and required adaptability of enslaved people, whose resources were scant. This mythos behind the dish (and its etymology) was upheld through tales told by many others in the African American community.

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What Kwanzaa Means to Black Americans—Now & Always

When National Museum of African American History and Culture oral history museum specialist Kelly Elaine Navies celebrated Kwanzaa while growing up in the Bay Area, food was always the center of the celebration.

“Having a feast—you’re celebrating the …

When National Museum of African American History and Culture oral history museum specialist Kelly Elaine Navies celebrated Kwanzaa while growing up in the Bay Area, food was always the center of the celebration.

“Having a feast—you're celebrating the culture and the diversity of African culture throughout the world,” said Navies.

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Why Yellow Cake Is So Important to Black Celebrations

Early in my relationship with my current partner, he threw a small birthday party for me. We went to a local bakery a few days before the party to order a cake. When the baker asked what kind I wanted, I said yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The ba…

Early in my relationship with my current partner, he threw a small birthday party for me. We went to a local bakery a few days before the party to order a cake. When the baker asked what kind I wanted, I said yellow cake with chocolate frosting. The baker had no idea what a yellow cake was, and my boyfriend said that yellow wasn’t a flavor.

I strongly believed, and still do, that not only is yellow a flavor, it is the only flavor when it comes to cake. Growing up, yellow cake was the only cake served at birthday parties. It was always present in the fellowship hall after church services and was the first cake to sell out at bake sales. I started to wonder if yellow cake was a cultural touchstone in the Black community, or if I was alone in my affection.

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44 Recipes From Black Food Bloggers to Celebrate Juneteenth

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in wh…

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in what Juneteenth, shorthand for June 19th, is all about.

On that day in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, news reached enslaved African Americans in Texas, finally ending legalized slavery. The day represents freedom, hope, and new beginnings for the Black community, and it is celebrated with parades, educational events, and communing around special foods.

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‘High on the Hog’ & the People Preserving Black Cooking Traditions

“The story of food is also the story of who we are,” proclaims host Steven Satterfield in Netflix’s High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.

The new docuseries, which came out just this week, sets out to reveal the origin sto…

“The story of food is also the story of who we are,” proclaims host Steven Satterfield in Netflix’s High On The Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.

The new docuseries, which came out just this week, sets out to reveal the origin stories of what we know as “American” cuisine. But this time the focus is on the people whose contributions have often been overshadowed or erased from the collective memory of American history—African Americans.

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38 Jubilant Recipes to Kick Off Black History Month

February marks the kickoff of Black History Month, a 50-plus-year-old tradition celebrating Black culture. After gaining traction on college campuses in the late 1960s, Black History Month was recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

And rightfull…

February marks the kickoff of Black History Month, a 50-plus-year-old tradition celebrating Black culture. After gaining traction on college campuses in the late 1960s, Black History Month was recognized by President Gerald Ford in 1976.

And rightfully so, considering Black people helped build the foundation of this nation. Now amid racial tensions coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all looking for something to be excited about, something to make us feel good again.

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A Home That Honors Black History in New Orleans

Adjacent to the statement couch (pink, velvet, and tufted), and underneath a crystal chandelier, sit a pair of movie theater seats. They’re a faded shade of sunshine and they fold up neatly, a grounding element in an otherwise happy-swanky room. K.V. H…

Adjacent to the statement couch (pink, velvet, and tufted), and underneath a crystal chandelier, sit a pair of movie theater seats. They're a faded shade of sunshine and they fold up neatly, a grounding element in an otherwise happy-swanky room. K.V. Harper, the owner and designer of this home, was looking for a church pew when she found them on eBay. "I wanted a piece that would nod to the history of Louisiana, with an understanding of where we are now," she says.

Salvaged from a segregated theater, the antique seats were exactly the sort of relic she wanted to reclaim in her New Orleans home, which is nestled in one of the oldest Black neighborhoods in America.

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Ice Cream Can Tell Centuries of Black Stories—Just Ask Chef Lokelani Alabanza

Hearing the words, “Your ice cream reminds me of when we ate ice cream at my mother’s funeral” would wipe the smile from most cooks’ faces. But for Nashville ice cream maker Lokelani Alabanza, this reaction from a customer was the ultimate compliment. …

Hearing the words, “Your ice cream reminds me of when we ate ice cream at my mother’s funeral” would wipe the smile from most cooks’ faces. But for Nashville ice cream maker Lokelani Alabanza, this reaction from a customer was the ultimate compliment. Alabanza is a storyteller who mines Black history and cooking for inspiration, translating her discoveries into the language of sugar and ice, and triggering such profound emotions is the whole point.

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Hello everyone ! ?? Thank you for the outpouring of support. It’s taken a few days to process. I’m Lokelani Alabanza. ( Lokelani is the flower of Maui, Alabanza is praise in Spanish) It’s been a mouthful since childhood. They call me Loke for short. The past four years have been dedicated to the world of ice cream. It’s been an amazing and challenging experience. It’s truly unbelievable how much humans love ice cream. Love it! Throughout the past four years, I’ve managed to created over 300 flavors. The inspiration can come from anywhere, a color, history, a thought, smell, book, person , drive in the car. I have a deep fondness for nostalgia, it’s been the most potent ingredient that I use. Nostalgia and ice cream are a stunning combination. Food connects all of us. Don’t ever underestimate it’s power. Through ice cream I started a journey into its history. Stepping into a world that I didn’t even realize existed. Names that have been forgotten, legacies that created the path that I would one day walk down. Was it coincidence or perfectly timed, that I would learn the name of Sarah Estell. A black female entrepreneur who owned and operated an ice cream saloon in downtown Nashville in 1840. With this new knowledge gained, it’s brought me so much confidence. Recent changes in the past few months have led me to venture out on my own. I have a new project I’ve been working on @saturatedicecream. You’re always welcome whenever you’re in Nashville. Be well. Be safe. Let us always be good to one another. p.s. What’s your favorite flavor?

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68 Recipes From Black Creators to Celebrate Juneteenth

This Juneteenth probably won’t look the same as it has in the past. Expect to see fewer cookouts, outdoor music concerts, parades, and festivals. This year we have to improvise and find ways to honor our innate spirit of perseverance and celebrate the …

This Juneteenth probably won’t look the same as it has in the past. Expect to see fewer cookouts, outdoor music concerts, parades, and festivals. This year we have to improvise and find ways to honor our innate spirit of perseverance and celebrate the resilience our ancestors demonstrated in their plight to freedom.

And for that reason, almost 70 Black food creatives have to come together to share recipes in a digital cookout, inspired by this holiday and the African diaspora, all to continue our legacy of communion, albeit virtually, and share our history with the world.

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