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A good friend of mine recently visited the Smithsonian’s Natural Museum of African-American History & Culture and shared something I had yet to hear expressed by others who also attended.
While listening to his experience and detailed account of the various exhibits that were more heavy on the slave and servitude side than the verified brilliance of Black people, he offered his observation of the museum’s “Sweet Home Café” menu that was jaw-dropping, to say the least.
I immediately inquired whether people were actually in the cafeteria eating this, because to me it was an obvious insult. However, he said it was packed with our people dining and enjoying themselves.
Below are some of those menu items (Get ready for the “Flash”):
- Buttermilk Fried Chicken, served with 2 sides
- Lexington Style BBQ Pork Sandwich, Slaw, Pickled Watermelon Rind, Potato Salad
- Slow Cooked Collards, Cornbread Sticks & Potlikker
- Georgia Shrimp & Anson Mills Stone Ground Grits
- Louisiana-style Catfish, served with 2 sides
- “Son of a Gun Stew” Braised Short Ribs
- Black Eye Peas
- Skillet Cornbread
- Sweet Corn Pudding
- Red Beans & Rice
- Candied Yams
It is more than true that we have been mis-educated, bamboozled and flat out tricked by our 460-year-old enemy who never had nor ever will have our best interest at heart, but it’s even worse that we don’t see how covertly disrespectful they can be on a daily basis. It doesn’t always have to be a police shooting, the injustice system, or choke holds that constitute as racism. The very food we are served and/or willingly prepare from the hundreds of years of being under their teaching, stem from racism and a racist mind…no matter how they try to ‘pretty it up’.
In the midst of the blatant disrespect, injustices, and violence against Black people by Whites, there’s the more seemingly subtle or what has been described as ‘micro-aggression’ committed against us that if we’re not conscious of it (in the true sense of the word) can be confused as a compliment.
Again, this is a museum of African-American ‘history and culture’ that was opened September of 2016, whose “Sweet Home Café” clearly describes their menu choices as “the rich culture and history of the African American people with traditional, authentic offerings as well as present-day food traditions”. To me that is code for, “This is what slaves ate and are stilling eating today”.
Check out the full menu and tell me what you think. Maybe we’ll take a second glance at the foods we consider ‘soul food’ when it’s really slave food and make better choices now that we have the option. It’s time that we Get Out of the White man’s kitchen and grow/produce our own food that will give us more abundant life! #RedistributeThePain #IndependenceMatters