Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Gumbo: Pride

For Being Free To Be Yourself: To quote a woman on 16th St yesterday screaming out the window of some bar, "It's pride bitch! PRIDE!!!"

For Standing Up For What's Right: The International Whaling Commission met last week in Morocco. This is a yearly meeting where countries and environmental organizations debate the issue of whaling. This year, Greenpeace ocean's campaigner and activist, Junichi Sato, attended for the first time since being arrested in Japan in 2008. Junichi and Toru Suzuki, fellow Greenpeace activist, are facing 18 months in prison for exposing embezzlement within the Japanese whaling industry.

For Where You Come From: I recently started reading Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America by Frederick Douglass Opie. It's an interesting read that follows the food pathways from Europe to Africa to the Carribean to America and back.

The premise is described in the book's introduction: In the course of my research for this project, I have arrived at multiple definitions of 'soul' and 'soul food'. As I understand it, soul is the product of a cultural mixture of of various African tribes and kingdoms. Soul is the style of rural folk culture, Soul is black spirituality and experiential wisdom. And soul is putting a premium on suffering, endurance, and surviving with dignity. Soul food is African American, but it was influenced by other cultures. It is the intellectual invention and property of African Americans. Soul food is fabulous-tasting dish made from simple, inexpensive ingredients. Soul food is enjoyed by black folk, whom it reminds of their southern roots. This book argues, then, that soul is an amalgamation of West African societies and cultures, as well as an adaptation to conditions of slavery and freedom in the Americas.

Renee Claire

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