Why Social Justice and Politics on a Food Blog?

Let me explain something…

While you are reading this I am probably asleep or getting ready for services.  

I have answered this question before and I think its time to answer it again.  I am a committed food and culinary history blogger.  I love food and what it as to teach us.  However, food is not an idol to me.  The motto of the African American studies movement went something like, “social responsibility and academic excellence and integrity.”  Many of us who are African American and write and express our ideas feel it is important to stop what we’re doing and do our part when crises arrive in our community and the larger world of people of African descent.  This week has been no different.

The world is officially as crazy as ever. The shootings in Toulouse, where my Jewish brethren were mowed down by a terrorist’s bullet, the ongoing genocide and threat of starvation and the unbelievable case of Trayvon Martin, murdered in cold blood by that …….person….Zimmerman,  have left me not as hungry as I thought I would be.  You would never guess that in the past week I turned 35 and saw my Facebook followers grow to 201, or that we’ve passed 100 published posts on Afroculinaria, between all that and the pressure to bring in the big bucks for The Cooking Gene:  http://www.indiegogo.com/The-Cooking-Gene-Project-The-Southern-Discomfort-Tour before May 6th.  (Please please support us–it’s nice hearing that its a great project but without your 10-1,000 bucks, it can’t happen!  And really–really don’t believe someone else will pick up the tab–trust me–they won’t…..)

SO its been kind of a rough week.  I am done my best to educate my classes on the situation in Toulouse, as well as readying for Pesach.  I am praying and hoping Zimmerman is brought to justice for his assault on our younger brother, Trayvon, and I am praying and hoping that his parents and family find peace and blessings despite all the evil that has befallen them.  I am hoping people are reading this blog and going to do a little bit if nothing to help our people in Sudan, in Darfur.  I will admit that I feel burdened, and it would be great to write about the tomato condiment I made from chili flavored sea salt and palm sugar or my attempt at Afro-Kung Pao chicken and all that–but there is plenty of that to come…..

I feel a need to do these “interruptions” because they mean that I mean business.  I can’t eat my breakfast, lunch or dinner thinking about the last minutes of human beings in Toulouse, in Sanford, in Darfur.  Blogging and linking people to places where we can do some good in the world gives me a reason to eat, sleep and go on with my daily routine without the pangs of not so much guilt–but the nagging need to do tikkun olam, world repair.  I have often, since I was younger, sat and contemplated the pain and sorrow of people around the world.  But then I couldn’t do anything about it.  By putting the words out on the internet, I hope that now I can do a little something and encourage someone to do a good deed that will hopefully inspire other good deeds.  That to me, is as important as getting better shots of my food, sharing food history secrets or recipes and talking in sensual terms about my birthday dinner.  I respect the fact that the best food bloggers stay on message and stay true to type.  I however, sit at the crossroads of spirit, history, food, social responsibility and intellectual integrity.  I hope you will be patient with me through this journey.  

Some days you just want to love your neighbor and change the world–one bite at a time.

Gut Shabbos

Michael 

oh yeah:  check this out:  http://southernfoodways.blogspot.com/2012/03/southern-discomfort-tour-led-by-michael.html

 

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About michaelwtwitty

I am a Judaics teacher and Culinary Historian focusing on the foodways of Africa, enslaved African Americans, African America and the African and Jewish diasporas.
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One Response to Why Social Justice and Politics on a Food Blog?

  1. misslisted says:

    Thank you for your authentic words, thoughts and feelings, and for expressing your own truth on the interconnectedness of all of it – the heartbreak and the goodness. How can you not?

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