Whenever a “month” rolls around to celebrate a “minority group” like “Black History Month”, “Women’s History Month”, “Latino History Month” or “Asian History Month,” I feel ambivalent and torn. A little bit like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Special and inspiring, yet woefully inadequate and kind of cheap. One day, one month to recognize and appreciate centuries of history, struggles, triumphs, contributions and generations of stories, heard and unheard. Really.
Nonetheless, any opportunity for reflection and celebration is a good opportunity!
I discovered this amazing and underappreciated historical site in Lithonia, Georgia. The mission of the Flat Rock Archives is to support the greater Flat Rock community by documenting, preserving, and making available the records and stories of former African American enslaved people and their descendants who have inhabited the Flat Rock area since the early nineteenth century. The Archives seeks to celebrate and share the legacy of rural African American culture from bygone eras with future generations. Thanks, Johnny, for the personal tour to the cemetery and your dedication to preserving the legacy.
Here are several more that I’ve been to that are definitely worth visiting:
- Apex Museum – Atlanta
- Center for Civil and Human Rights – Atlanta
- Ebenezer Baptist Church – Atlanta
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park – Atlanta
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail – Protest Campsites
- Civil Rights Memorial Center, Southern Poverty Law Center – Montgomery
- National Museum of African American History and Culture – Washington D.C.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial – Washington D.C.
I’d love to hear about your visits, experiences and additional recommendations to my short list of sites…
Fried Rice and Chitlins: Food, Culture and Race
As the popularity in ethnic cuisine has sky-rocketed, so too have questions (and conflicts) around race, privilege, gender, immigrants and diversity. Chinese Southern Belle always represented more than a clever, marketing name. Three simple words invoke the sentimentality and nostalgia of stately plantation mansions and mint juleps on the veranda, and, at the same time, one of the most shameful, unforgettable chapters in American history. The debate over whether to keep or remove Confederate symbols and memorials is intense and ongoing, and goes to the heart of who we are as Southerners…and Americans.
Against a backdrop of changing demographics, growing income inequality and agricultural and economic globalization, where does that leave us at the dinner table?
Tribute to Edna Lewis “Grand Dame” of Les Dames d’Escoffier International and her legacy on Southern food and culture.