Soul Food In African American Culture

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Soul food is just what the name insinuate. It is richly flavored and cooked food that is cooked from the heart with love. Some people might say soul food is a home cooked meal, but to my family soul food is a tradition, a way of life handed down from generation to generation. During the era of slavery, blacks were often given the undesirable cuts of meats that slave owners would not eat. Although slaves were given the undesirable cuts of meat, such as pig feet, tails, intestines, chicken livers, and necks they were creative and resourceful, turning these foods into delicious dishes. Even though economic influenced the foods that slaves ate, my family still follows the tradition of soul food created by our ancestors. Food just like, art, music, and literature is an authentic expression of a person’s culture (Bower, 2007, p. 46).
Throughout the history of African Americans, soul food has provided more than a physical substenance, it has served as a vehicle to preserve blacks African heritage. Slaves had a tradition of eating a lot of cooked greens, slave master rejected turnip greens because they only wanted the turnip (Bower, 2007, p. 48). The matriarch of my family, Madea, my maternal great-grandmother, plants a garden every year, which consists of turnip greens, black-eyed peas, corn, sweet potatoes, okra, and onions. The history
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My aunt Wanda makes the best cornbread, sweet and buttery. One might think, how is cornbread considered a tradition of soul food? The most common bread to slaves was corn bread. It was often fed to them with a mixture of milk or buttermilk. In fact, molasses and cornbread was a special treat for slave children. Even generations after the Civil War poor blacks carried cornbread and molasses to school for lunch (Taylor, 1982, p. 88). However, my family do not prepare cornbread the way it was originally cooked, but we continue to keep it in our
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