This is one of the best articles I have read in a long time. We have a very similar background. My mom grew up in a farming family in Jamaica, so we would go to Bread and Circus (now Wholefoods), Afro-Caribbean/African grocery stores and small Asian grocers for these shopping expeditions for all types of old and new foods. We also used “monopoly money” when we weren’t cut off for this or that reason. We were food insecure but super healthy and ate real food, and delicious meal. That is what my mom knows, whole foods to make the most delicious meals you ever tasted. Only at the food pantries did we really “indulge” in American grade corporate canned foods, like Spaghettios. There we could get whatever we wanted in a can or box that my mom refuse to buy at the store. I was also her souchef, and although I am a trusted cook of the family I am still learning and receptive of how to proceed in the kitchen with caution and care.

Your analogy is brilliant! Black women understand the process and deference to elders/experts needed to create something soulful and authentic — whether it be a meal or a movement. In times of great crisis, access to food via land and water rights have been deeply connected to movements as well. Black women, in particular, feed the movement — we need to be respected. Non-Black POC and white allies particularly need to take the time and effort to learn how to cut onions the right way before they preheat the oven.

Lisa Betty is a PhD Candidate in History and Course Instructor at Fordham University.

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