Scholars, Elders and Wise Folk The Cooking Gene

Every now and then you get a really nice vote of confidence

When people who have long been acknowledged for their work say you’re on the right path, you’re good.  Things are smiling on ya.  The plan is to go from Maryland to Natchez and Donaldsonville, Louisiana so Ser’s sight is one of the two places that this visit was intended to go to in the first place.  With his help at The Forks of the Road museum in Natchez, and that of the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, under the direction of Kathe Hambrick; I am reaching out to local and other Southern institutions inside and outside of African American communities to tell this story and reach a wide audience.  What makes Ser’s work so important is that it highlights a part of our history that is often obscured–the domestic slave trade.

This trade had an incredible impact on American culture, and not the least of which–the cultural integrity of African Americans and their influence, including food and foodways.  Remember the Deep South was practically wilderness from 1810…Then these thousands of enslaved Blacks are brought to the region–my–our ancestors and mansions and railroads and infrstructure arise and by the Civil War, 2/3 of America’s export wealth is in cotton ALONE.  The Domestic Slave Trade was the largest forced migration on American soil, just as the Translatlantic slave trade was the largest forced migration in recorded human history.

From: Ser Seshs Ab Heter-Boxley

Hetepu! Peace and blessings! My person met Mic-ka-el Twitty at the end of October 2011 up in Pittsburgh a history planning session at the Heinzhistory Center (see link on We spent an evening together on the im…mediate streets of Pittsburgh and some time in the working session. When my person moved on learning what was making him tick, he unfolded from his spirit the real reason for our being in the same space, at that particular time. As you read his ancestral drum beat in the copy below, many of your persons should be able to reach the understanding of why the Ancestors put us together in the same space at that same time. You see, my person have been working for the last 16 years in my Natchez Mississippi resurrecting, rescuing, preserving, presenting and interpreting the history and legacies of enslaved Ancestors and Foreparents humanity, communal development contributions that made this deep southwest part of the country what it was and is. My pillar anchor for all these years of working to help bring about equal history commemorations that overcame the controllers of history and powers to be making it “look like they (whites) did all this by themselves,” is the chattel enslavement history of the historical Forks of the Road enslavement selling markets sites here in my Natchez. Mic-ka-el holds a piece of the bigger picture puzzle that takes the history, legacies, humanity, arts, music, spiritual and communal development of enslaved and non-enslaved Ancestors and Foreparents to a deeper understanding that university learned technology and mind-set have not. He holds the answers to the food ways of enslaved people all the way back to once upon a time when we were a free and independent people in Africa, before the strangers came. His knowing of the food ways (culture) of enslaved Ancestors and Foreparents on the eastern seaboard, the Caribbean all the way back to Africa will help explain and connect the food ways (culture) of those enslaved people forced brought from the eastern seaboard and still directly from the Caribbean and Africa to enslaved selling markets like the Forks of the Road and New Orleans. Thus connect and explains what made and makes us who are and what and how we eat, play music, farm, let spirit move us (some of it dark light), survive, work building community and so on. I have said all this and sent you his own words to let you know my spirit told my person that I just have to work to find a work to help bring Mic-ka-el (el means the ONE) to Mississippi and Louisiana where he said he has never been. I came back home and immediately called Kathe Hambrick Jackson at River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville Louisiana to ask how come she did not tell me about Michael because he said he had met her. We both know that we have to do what we can to get him down here. As you will see by going to his electronic networks, he has made plans to make a geological-culinary history journey, that just about shadows some of the main overground railroad routes our enslaved Foreparents and Ancestors were forced brought from the upper south to the deep southwest. This is why we African descendants and Ascendants are here in Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and parts of Alabama today and have all those connections to those who migrated to other states and places from the deep southwest. If you are in a position to help Ujamaa (cooperate economic principle of Kwanzaa) contribute to Micheal’s journey into the deep south to help us understand the roots of what is called “southern” culture, please do so.  Like Richard Wright said in his book Black Power, upon going to Ghana West Africa with the late President Kwame Nkrumah and seeing all those “Black” African people. He said in them he saw what we are in America. That walk, that wiggle, that laugh and so on.
Thank you Ser.  🙂

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