Black History Culture : ORIGINS OF SOUL FOOD IN BLACK URBAN IDENTITY...

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Isaiah, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    origins soul food black urban identity


    American Studies International, February 1999, Vol. XXXVII, No. 14The Origins ofSoul Food inBlack Urban Identity:Chicago, 1915-1947TRACY N. POEHelen Anglin sits in a high-backed, brown vinyl booth in the south-west corner of her restaurant, Soul Queen, on 91st and Stony IslandDrive in Chicago. It is 1997, and this year is Helen’s sixty-seventhbirthday and the fiftieth anniversary of her business. As she remi-nisces, she leafs through photographs, tinted brown or faded withage. They are an almanac of the changes she and this neighborhoodhave been through together since she, along with hundreds of thou-sands of other African Americans, left the rural South in search of ahome where she could “just be herself, without bending down toanybody.”One early picture shows the restaurant’s interior, in those dayscalled the H&H Café after Helen and her husband Hubert Maybelle.It looks pretty much like any diner in the 1940s—gleaming whiteFormica countertops, chrome stools with dark leather seats boltedto the floor. A neon sign shines through the window onto the darksidewalk outside. When deciphered in reverse it reads “Catfish—Louisiana Fried Pies.” Other photographs depict Helen, young,proud, and laughing in her waitress’s costume, and the restaurant’sspotless tables full to capacity with other young, proud, and laugh-ing African Americans, dressed to the nines and out for a good time.

    Over the years the outfits change. Pillbox hats become Afros.The café’s bright postwar gleam gives way to a brown-and-gold,crushed-velvet glamour. Famous faces begin to appear among theanonymous diners. Joe Louis. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sidney Poitier.Muhammad Ali. Jesse Jackson. Nelson Mandela. Looking at them,one begins to realize that the laughing girl in the waitress’s dresshas become a woman of formidable standing in the world. And yeton this as on any other day, the low-key, motherly presence in thebooth is delivering orders to the kitchen and greeting the everydaypeople who still come in for a piece of that catfish and a bit of pie.Helen Anglin, the seventeen-year-old who moved North from Ala-bama all those years ago, has become an institution.We are prone to pass by places like Helen’s restaurant without giv-ing them much thought. “Soul food” has become commonplace inAmerican cities, especially in the industrial Midwest. Street cornersin African American neighborhoods are crowded with rib joints,chicken takeout stands, and fish markets. Usually one or two of thesehas a reputation as a “funky” place for white people to go on a Fri-day night when they cross to the other side of town to hear music.And there might even be a takeoff on a Soul Food kitchen in a whiteneighborhood, replete with old license plates hanging on the wallsand hot sauce on the red-and-white checkered tablecloths.What we forget, however, is that until 1963, when Malcolm Xrecorded his life story for “autobiographer” Alex Haley, there wasno such thing as “Soul Food.”1What there was in urban black neigh-borhoods, was an African American culinary tradition that centeredon two principles: Southerness and commensality. The story of howthese principles became “Soul Food” is the story of how a transpar-ent and mundane fact of life—food—became a harbinger of an ur-ban, black ethnic identity.Tracy Poe, a doctoral candidate in Harvard’s History of AmericanCivilization program, is completing her dissertation, “Food, Culture, andEntrepreneurship: Strategies and Symbols of Ethnic Identity in Chicago,1900-1965.” She currently teaches at Roosevelt University and isResearch Assistant on the History of Chicago Encyclopedia project at theNewberry Library.

    FOR MORE, CLICK ON THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW...


    http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache...les/37-1-1.pdf+the+origins+of+soul+food&hl=en


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. Moorfius

    Moorfius Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    What Soul Food?

    Hotep

    The most importent thing in this life revolves around what we "Eat". With all due respects,...the triditions learned after Afrikans were striped of every thing and then transformed into Negro-Slaves are at best Slave traditions. There are some remote Afrikanizm that survived, however with out the proper knowlege of self and under the whip of the slave master, "We" have lost every thing. Such as the language, culture, mors, norms, religion, concpts of what it means to be Afrikan and Human. We were not allowed to act like we had any sence, we were incuraged to appear Domb, ignorant and dosile as the Slave Masters wanted us to be. They (slave masters) would eat "high on the hogg" while we were forced to eat "low" on the hogg. Every thing the Master through away from the slautering was fead to the Slaves, the Gutts, and other uneatable parts that the slaves would eat any way. We have learned a tradition of ill-health from the slave times. Afrikans today are sicker than any one in Amerika because of what we eat. Soul Food is food that is good for the Soul. We have a choice today, to break the Slave-Food-Chains that bind us to sickness and disease. We no longer have to eat the food of the Slaves on the Plantation. Why do we??
    Afrikan proverb: "Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food". In order for us to learn to eat food that is compatable to Afrikans, we have to know our self. Europian food is not compatable to the Afrikan, the Afrikan is basicly Vegitarian. In ancient time no one ever ate the Swine, Pigg, Hogg, Konzier. This "Scavenger" is not fit for Hu-Man consumption. Leviticus: #11-chapter and #7-verse; The "Swine", thou shalt not touch it's dead carcus for it is un-clean to you and is a Abomination.

    Ase`
     
  3. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Brother Moorfius, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater... Our diet does not entirely consist of the so-called "slave diet..." Yams, for example, are African vegetables, and so are black-eyed peas and black beans... These beans are eaten by African descended people all over the WORLD... Aint got nothing to do with Slavery, man... RICE, brother...my people are from the CAROLINAS...and they were brought there to grow rice... They were EXPERTS at growing rice long before there ever was an enslaved AFRICAN...

    PLEASE, my beloved, look a little deeper before you criticise and confuse what is White Man's with what is intrinsically OURS... DEEP FRYING of foods is AFRICAN in origin, and it is practiced everywhere in the AFRICAN DIASPORA as well as on the AFRICAN CONTINENT... Guess what, brother, deep frying is killing us, man! It is what is giving us sclerotic(hardened)arteries, and that leads to hypertension, cardo-pulmonary problems, and dieabetes... Everything AFRICAN is NOT inherently GOOD for us, brother...

    Also, brotherman, look a little more deeply into the variety of foods that African Americans eat these days, and you will find that it aint no SOUL FOOD we're eating anymore... It is MCDONLDS and WENDYs and KENTUCKY FRIED... Our so -called Slave diet minus the OINK, and the salt, brother, is actually quite healthy... It is filled with beans, peas, maize, grains, and greens, which are quite vegetarian... That's because African Americans grew up down south, and on farms and in rural areas before coming NORTH in the years onf the last century...Our eating habits here in the NORTH were of more PROCESSED foods, and is contributing to high incidences of disease like diabetes and hypertension...

    Again, my beautiful and beloved brother, dig a little deeper, and you'll find you don't have to discard the precious baby with the dirty bathwater... Hang on to your baby, brother, hang on, and eat up!(smile!)


    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  4. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    With that said, somebody pass me the smoked neck bones :cook:
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    How to Eat to Live, Do not Live to Eat.


    Some very good points are made in this post. Our habit of frying meats in particular can be harmful but I suggest that it is more related to the type of oil used rather than the custom of frying itself. My family tends to use vegetable, corn and peanut oil but I personally have gotten into the custom of using olive oil which is lower in choleserol and fatty acids. I still eat at some junk food joints but when I do I usually eat fish, chicken or turkey as much as I can and am in the process of eliminating pork and red meat all together. Dairy products can be particularly harmful to those with Type A Blood because the digestive acid is too acidic while the natural digestice fluid is more alkaline than acidic. This requires changing the habit the of scrambling eggs with milk and cheese, the restriction on eating commercial "chocolate" which is made with eggs and processed milk and further restriction on certain baked goods. This means while you can still eat the cobbler with low fat sugar, which should be organic or replaced with sugar, you might wanna rethink the temptation next time at the Golden Corral when your eyes get fixed on that big piece of german chocolate cake!
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    That may well be true, too, my brother, but I have heard that our bodies cannot process a lot saturated oils, and they then become mucous to be pushed out through our skin... The rest just stays and clogs up our artieries...

    Our best bet is to broil and roast them neckbones(if we're still eating them like CHEF Sekhemu - :bawling: ), or eat fried foods in moderation... I gotta admit I am addicted to Fried chicken and some ser'ous poggie samiches with the fries on the side, but my jones for that stuff is under control, thankfully :lift:

    Peace!
    isaiah
     
  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ha! I gotta admit the same addiction. Fried catfish and gumbo last friday and KFC last night.

    I need to purge for the next 3 days.

    You are completely correct concerning the use of oil and the need for moderate usage.

    I usually roast, broil or grill my meat I tend to get fried food when I get lazy and don't feel like cleaning up. I love to cook but it's the aftermath of cleaning and it gets so hot in Texas during the summer that I'm just to worn out to cook. And I hate ants infesting my kitchen.
     
  8. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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  9. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My brothers, my brothers, y'all makin' Big Poppa HONGREE with all this talk 'bout catfishes and black eyed peas, now!(smile!)

    peace!
    Zeke
     
  10. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

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    feast out brutha Isaiah , man soulfood is goooooooooooooodd.....
     
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