Monday, February 8, 2010

#106. Acknowledging Their Love for Soul Food

We live in a world governed by few rules, but the most important of all laws that must be acknowledged without fail is simply this: Thou Shalt Not Display Black People in a Negative Light.

Thus, the need for a month dedicated to celebrating accomplishments of a race largely devoid of any accomplishments or contributions to the United States (outside of entertainment or sports), for Black people's conspicuous absence from collective historical relevance is an unflattering truth that can't be explained away by white racism.

Undoubtedly, you have heard of the first rule of Fight Club - you don't talk about fight club. In the United States of America, anytime a Black person of significance screws up their race is a careful guarded secret - save for their discernible melanin-enhanced skin - and anytime a city with a majority Black populace falters, any mention of the racial makeup of that municipality isn't tolerated.

The corollary to the First Rule of Black Run America (BRA) is you can't acknowledge Black people lest you do so in a positive manner.

Even in Pre-Obama America, Black people found these rules were largely the law of the land.

Unfortunately - as in any society - criminality does exist and we do happen to have individuals who mock the law and defy the edicts set forth by the judiciary in charge of all acceptable public discourse on Black people.

It is discussed in impolite circles that Black people have the strange habit of never passing on seconds and this nearly unspeakable truth has led to gross imbalances in the distribution of calories between the races and thus, the pendulum of corpulence swings Black (the following statistics are from - and we are not making this up - the Office of Minority Health, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services... and you thought BRA wasn't holding up a kernel of truth):
  • African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.1
  • In 2007, African Americans were 1.4 times as likely to be obese as Non- Hispanic Whites.
  • From 2003-2006, African American women were 70% more likely to be obese than Non-Hispanic White women.
  • In 2003-2004, African American children between ages 6 -17 were 1.3 times as likely to be overweight than Non-Hispanic Whites.
It is strange to think that a dynamic population that represents 13 percent of the United States population is immune from public discourse, even during Black History Month. We are to celebrate Black History, correct?

Obviously, Black History includes a heaping portion of food, or why else would McDonald's find it profitable to market to Black people with the company's 365 Black promotion? 13 percent of population is relatively small, unless those Black people eat a disproportionate amount of the unhealthy food served under the Golden Arches.

It is vital to remember the Iron Law of BRA as we navigate the treacherous waters of the Black diet and find out that a staple of the 'colored' food pyramid is universally known, yet fanatically kept quiet, providing a hilarious dichotomy of truth and untruth.

Black people love fried chicken. Black people have had numerous riots over fried chicken in geographical unrelated cities, providing incidents for sociologist to study that establish a linkage between the unmistakable craving for finger-licking good food that can't be denoted as isolated.

Black people have a fond relationship with Soul Food, a constant ally in times of trouble and a delicious reminder that Black people's best friend will always been fried:
Soul food is an American cuisine, a selection of foods, and is the traditional cuisine of African Americans in the United States. It is closely related to the cuisine of the Southern United States. The descriptive terminology may have originated in the mid-1960s, when soul was a common definer used to describe black culture

Enslavers fed their captives as cheaply as possible, often with throwaway foods from the plantation, forcing slaves to make do with the ingredients at hand. In slave households, vegetables were the tops of turnips and beets and dandelions. Soon, slaves were cooking with new types of greens: collards, kale, cress, mustard, and pokeweed. They also developed recipes which used lard; cornmeal; and offal, discarded cuts of meat such as pigs' feet, oxtail, ham hocks, chitterlings (pig small intestines), pig ears, hog jowls, tripe and skin. Cooks added onions, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf to enhance the flavors. Some slaves supplemented their meager diets by maintaining small plots made available to them to grow their own vegetables, and many engaged in subsistence fishing and hunting, which yielded wild game for the table. Foods such as raccoon, squirrel, opossum, turtle, and rabbit were, until the 1950s, very common fare among the still predominantly rural and southern African American population.
Yes, Black people love soul food.

However, remembering the most important of all laws governing BRA, this factoid is a closely guarded secret and can't be discussed. Just consult with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), gatekeepers and defenders of the Iron Law of BRA, and you will find this truth to be self-evident:

"A special NBC Black History Month lunch spread -- featuring fried chicken, collard greens and black-eyed peas -- sparked a commissary controversy yesterday, but the African-American chef who planned it doesn't understand the fuss.

"All I wanted to do was make a meal that everyone would enjoy -- and that I eat myself," NBC cook Leslie Calhoun told The Post last night.

Calhoun's proudly planned feast, which she began last year, hit a snag when Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the drummer for Jimmy Fallon's "Late Night" show band, The Roots, shot a photo of the menu outside the network's Rockefeller Center cafeteria and posted it on Twitter.

A disappointed Calhoun, who has worked at NBC for eight years, said she's been begging for years to make special entrees in honor of Black History Month, and got her wish last year. The plan was to have one special meal every Thursday during February -- although she said she's nervous about next week.

Asked if she understood why some people might find her menu concept offensive, Calhoun said, "I don't understand it at all. It's what I eat."


t_C_ said...

"Black-eyed peas, rice, yams, greens, okra and cornbread."

Sounds like good fare. I love to make my own, and I am White. When I have eaten at soul-food places, I find those type of items to be of lesser quality, over-cooked than when I can do for myself and my family. Black soul food is not an original idea to Blacks only, they incorported from Southern Whites, they didn't bring their menu from Africa. Let's list real African fare:

From: Sidney Langford Hinde (former captain of the Congo Free State Force), The Fall of the Congo Arabs, Methuen, 1897

Nearly all the tribes in the Congo Basin either are or have been cannibals; and among some of them the practice is on the increase. Races who until lately do not seem to have been cannibals, though situated in a country surrounded by cannibal races, have, from increased intercourse with their neighbours, learned to eat human flesh.

Soon after the Station of Equator was established, the residents discovered that a wholesale human traffic was being carried on by the natives of the district between this station and Lake M'Zumba. The captains of the steamers have often assured me that whenever they try to buy goats from the natives, slaves are demanded in exchange; the natives often come aboard with tusks of ivory with the intention of buying a slave, complaining that meat is now scarce in their neighbourhood.

There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that they prefer human flesh to any other. During all the time I lived among cannibal races I never came across a single case of their eating any kind of flesh raw; they invariably either boil, roast or smoke it. This custom of smoking flesh to make it keep would have been very useful to us, as we were often without meat for long periods. We could, however, never buy smoked meat in the markets, it being impossible to be sure that it was not human flesh.

The preference of different tribes for various parts of the human body is interesting. Some cut long steaks from the flesh of the thighs, legs or arms; others prefer the hands and feet; and though the great majority do not eat the head, I have come across more than one tribe which prefers this to any other part. Almost all use some part of the intestines on account of the fat they contain.

A young Basongo chief came to our Commandant while at dinner in his tent and asked for the loan of his knife, which, without thinking, the Commandant gave him. He immediately disappeared behind the tent and cut the throat of a little slave-girl belonging to him, and was in the act of cooking her when one of our soldiers saw him. This cannibal was immediately put in irons, but almost immediately after his liberation he was brought in by some of our soldiers who said he was eating children in and about our cantonment. He had a bag slung round his neck which, on examining it, we found contained an arm and leg of a young child.

A man with his eyes open has no difficulty in knowing, from the horrible remains he is obliged to pass on his way, what people have preceded him, on the road or battlefield – with this difference: that on a battlefield he will find those parts left to the jackals which the human wolves have not found to their taste; whereas on the road, by the smouldering camp fires, are the whitening bones, cracked and broken, which form the relics of these disgusting banquets. What struck me most, during my expeditions throughout the country, was the number of partially cut-up bodies I found. Some of them were minus the hands and feet, and some with steaks cut from the thighs or elsewhere; others had the entrails or head removed. Neither old nor young, women or children, are exempt from serving as food for their conquerors or neighbours.


B Herder said...

I know black people think they 'own' BBQ ribs, but I have a secret for them... (Pssssst! Hey black people..)

A: Do NOT boil the ribs first!
B: Fer chrissakes, use a quality BBQ sauce. Not that stuff you get at Costco that comes in a 5 gallon bucket for $2.99

sick of this s**t said...

ignore their "History", boycott McDonalds and any other racist (that's what they are) businesses. Some of their food is ok, but the BS that accompanies it makes it not worth indulging in. They should all be encouraged to eat to excess, that way, their fat asses will not be able to fit through your window when they try to burglarize your house, and they will not be able to run from police due to 1. fat asses, 2. pants hanging off their fat asses, waistband to the knees. 13% VS the rest of us, whos got the economic muscle??

Anonymous said...

During the recent conflict in Liberia cannibalism was practiced. Go to
Anyway, you have to wonder how awareness of soul food got to be politically incorrect. Blacks and coloreds in general want whites to be hyper aware of them and at the same time not to be aware of them.
Sounds like a bad infection of cognitive dissonance to me.

Phalluster said...

Anonymous said...


Here is a little education about the American Negro. Fried Chicken, Collard greens, black eyed peas, etc.. are only "Soul Food" outside of the the south east. The best fried chicken I've ever had from a restaurant was in Marietta, Ga. The restaurant was owned and operated by white folks. See, I'm not a total racist.

I might be a rare bird, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I enjoy "soul food" on occasion. Since my personal associations are all black, I guess I'm preaching to the choir.

I think I'll have my wife prepare some fried chicken tonight. It is "black history" month, after all.

-Black guy

Anonymous said...

"Since my personal associations are all black"

Well of course they are. Aren't you special! Keepin' it real, Black Guy!

Anonymous said...

You don't have to be black to love SOUL FOOD. All you have to do is LOVE good down home cookin'.