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African American Story

Soul Food is the familiar name given to the culinary traditions of foods prepared in the African merican traditions. Some people consider Southern Cooking to be synonymous with Soul Food; owever, they are similar but slightly different. The Europeans who settled in what is now the American South brought with them livestock (cattle and pigs), potatoes, and other vegetables which have remained central to Southern Cooking. These settlers also brought to America African slaves to cultivate the land. While slavery will forever be a source of profound shame for the U.S., the slaves’ contributions to the American culinary traditions are something to elevate and celebrate!

Like many remnants of past decades, daily family meals today with every family member at the table is often rare. Chairs are empty! The dinner table environment has changed rastically. Today’s dinner table is often a gathering place for mail,

receipts, groceries and old wspapers. The physical dinner table exist but is no longer the hub of activity. Fast food, cell phones, the internet and odd work schedules for family often prevent enjoying a meal together at the table as a family. Much research has been conducted in recent years and confirms the empowerment of the family dinner table. Some of the benefits concluded from the research include:

  • Parents are positioned as role models for younger family members while grandparents and great grandparents are clearly positioned as honored matriarchs and patriarchs.
  • Eating homecooked and home baked foods sets the stage for healthy eating.
  • Younger family members are less likely to exhibit behavioral issues and resentments including alcohol and drug abuse when they’re older,
  • Children and adolescents grow up with a sense of connection and belonging, rather than seeking to secure these from the streets or gangs.
  • Most importantly, closer relationships are formed between individual family members.
  • Stories exchanged at the dinner table advances incomparable shared experiences and knowledge.