By Chef Emanuel Washington
The list of Culinary Contributions and achievements by African Americans is staggering. Yet, most of the World doesn’t know it. When we examine the macrocosm of the restaurant industry in America and most cooking shows for that matter, one would think African Americans had nothing to do with food or food history. This is a false narrative. History tells a far different story. It’s time we address this issue.
Throughout this series, we will shine a light on the amazing foods created by African Americans which are enjoyed and revered around the World. This educational journey through American Food History will examine its origins and influences and offer insight into the creative genius and culinary dexterity of the best cooks the World has ever known. So, join me as we follow the food across the Atlantic Ocean through the ‘Middle Passage’, to 1607 Jamestown, Virginia and on to present day.
Soul Food is America’s food and America’s food is Soul Food. It does not matter how many times you stir the pot, it still taste like Soul Food. ‘Soul Food’ and ‘America’ walk hand in hand throughout history and stand side by side in America’s Yearbook. American History, America’s food history and Soul Food are forever inseparable!
The perpetual dissertation of History and Science provides indisputable evidence that: “Soul Food is American Food in its purest form.” It is incumbent upon ALL AMERICAN’S to recognize, understand and accept the true History and culture of our great Nation. It is vital that we preserve and protect our own History. American History should never be on consignment.
Today American Food History and culture bears similitude to disregarded record. The equilateral reputation of America’s Food (Soul Food) is being challenged right here in America. We must accept this challenge and meet it head on with the compelling testimony of History and Science. The time is ripe to ‘Move’ beyond elementary discourse and inconsequential difference.
“The courage to speak truth over fiction and integrity over duplicity is the boulevard to enduring Peace and Harmony.” As American’s, we must practice what we preach. In many ways ‘Soul Food’ has a remarkably striking resemblance to the lives, reputation, standing, and status of African Americans. Yet the verve of ‘Soul Food’ remains in a class all by itself, on the continent where it was created.
As confusing as it seems, most Americans don’t know what Soul Food is or are confused about what it is. Soul Food represents more than just a food created by American slaves. It symbolizes strength, courage, resilience, valor, fortitude and true grit. It also represents the dreams, ambitions and the unparalleled creative brilliance of an entire culture. Soul Food signifies the very history and foundation of what is present day America.