Inner Reflections
February 19, 2024

Celebrating Black Culture

“Sensory processing can be transcendent. Carrying one on a journey where past and present iterations of self-intersect. For me, this intersectionality is through – “

Touch. It feels like a warm hug in a bowl. Reminiscent of my grandmother gently tying my apron around my tiny waist, as I learned the secrets to our family’s File Gumbo, Fried Chicken & Catfish, Jambalaya, Potato Salad, Greens (the combination of collards & mustard greens are my personal favorite (yum) and Mac & Cheese, nom.

Sight. It looks like our family dishes placed around the table for holidays and Sunday dinners in the cozy home I grew up in on Western Ave. & 53rd Street, in South Central Los Angeles.

Hearing. It sounds like the same oldies playing as the soundtrack for hours, sometimes days of culinary preparation. Followed by gatherings of generations of laughter alongside tabletop games like Pokeno, Dominoes or Spades. And when Chuck Berry’s “When the Saints go Marching in,” hits the rotation on our playlists it’s likely a Second Line (IYKYK) will likely ensue.

Smell. It smells like a seafood boil, distinct spices, a backyard BBQ and grandma’s kitchen.

Taste. It tastes like home. The fusion of New Orleans flavors and Soul Food that do just that. . . Foods that soothe the soul and fill the belly.

Our African ancestors laid the foundation for contemporary black culture. One that is innovative, resilient and joyful during any circumstance. From cuisine, to art, science, architecture, sports, literature, fashion and beyond, we are reaping the benefits of black ingenuity; in ways we realize, as well as ways many are ignorant to. Therefore, it is my pleasure to continue to learn and unlearn with you the complexities in which black history has enhanced our world – one recipe at a time.

Of course, it is vital that we adapt to modern times of greater food accessibility and opportunities to fuel our bodies with foods made from ingredients that are more nutritious for our bodies. But the heart and soul behind our cuisine remain. I no longer eat deep fried foods daily, but delight in integrating my family’s culinary traditions into a more balanced diet.

I envision the next generation steeped in our roots, and free to create a more elevated landscape of wellness from the table to the yoga mat and in their lives.

Namaste Lovelies,