“I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow dammed up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all……. No, I do not weep at the world
– I’m too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
– Zora Neal Hurston, Dust Tracks On A Road
A while back, I had this crazy notion that I should start hosting Sunday Suppers. Not every Sunday, but maybe once or twice a month. In the beginning, it was a very small gathering of a few folks that I’ve known for years. One recently moving here from New Orleans and gladly helped in the preparation of “green” gumbo. Then it moved to a neighbor or two, who last Sunday brought a few friends. So my table of six became one of sixteen and we ran out of food. Good news is, where there is no food there is Bourbon.
Golden spirits and warm hearts build lasting friendships. So I’ve been told..
It’s here that I looked around my table at the array of people, all walks of life, and all different in some way. Sharing stories and laughter all over food.
Everyone was welcomed…
There has been a lot of talk about race in the media. With ridiculous pop stars making videos, NBA owners telephoned rants, and an unfortunate issue my 13 year old had to deal with. I find myself explaining to my daughter more and more how those words or slurs can only hurt us if we allow it. How this path has been paved for her to walk along, although it can seem heavy-laden with endless steps, it still leads you to the top of the hill to stand with everyone else. With the passing of Dr. Maya Angelou, we’ve starting talking more about her life and reading her poems.
“Still I Rise” being one that I favorite due to it’s poetic words ability to relate to much more than just race. We read it together, my daughter and I, then talk about it’s meaning and how it makes her feel. I’m overcome with emotions when I read this poem and think of the shit that has rolled my way and the fact that I can’t protect my daughter from fools..
She still has trouble with understanding; I still have trouble with understanding.
However, it’s there, that unfortunate issue of learning how to maneuver through ignorance and more so ignorant people. These were things that I witnessed and was taught much earlier than her.
Things that I’d hoped my children would never have to.
I learned the history of my ancestors that wasn’t taught in school and how to not use the past as a crutch or an excuse to explain away my failures, but rather as a sword and a shield to slay those who stand in my way and cover those who stand with me in the fight.
Except on Sundays..
On Sunday, I’ve decided to trade in my sword for my cast iron skillet and my dinner table will take the place of the shield. Here I will fight the battle of intolerance over food and drink.
So no matter your race, who you choose to love or whom you choose to pray too, you’re welcome here. We all sit at the same table, sometimes talk too loudly and always laugh too much.
There’s a seat for you at this table, that’s full of acceptance and understanding and sometimes Fried Oyster and Shrimp Po Boys…
So dinner starts at 6.
I hope that y’all can make it..
“You may shoot me with your words.
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise..”
Keep rising my friends…
Speaking of rising. My friend (James Beard Award-Wining Author) Adrian Miller literally wrote the book on Soul Food. Now, he is expanding his talents to a documentary series that will highlight the stories and rich history of African American presidential chefs. With the help of filmmaker Joe York and a few others, Adrian will bring the amazing and often complex history of these chefs to life. To find out about the chef that saved George Washington from being poisoned by peas and more about this compelling new project, as well as help Adrian reach his kickstarter goal, click here… He’s only in need of a few more backers to make this all come together.
Prep Time-25 mins Cook Time- 15 mins Yields- 4 sandwiches