Black History Month

Books

Black History Month: A Look Back at African-American Cookbooks

By Marcus Samuelsson | February 28, 2014

what mrs fisher knows

what mrs fisher knows

I’m a firm believer that one of the best ways to learn about a culture is through food. For those of us who can’t travel, can’t physically break bread with the originators we have to rely on shared traditions.  Growing up in Sweden, I had little reference point for American cooking, let alone African American cooking so when I finally moved to the States, I studied everything and ate anything I could.  Nowadays, most Europeans know that the only food that is intrinsically American is Southern food; African American cuisine.  These books below are some of the greats; the ones that tell the story and fill the bellies the best.

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Food Stories

Black History Month: The History of Chicken and Waffles

By Marcus Samuelsson | February 20, 2014

(Photo by Maria G.)
(Photo by Maria G.)

(Photo by Maria G.)

The artistic and cultural explosion of the 1920’s and 30’s known as The Harlem Renaissance, also known as one of the most socially alive and creatively conscious eras of African-American history,  ignited a mighty wave of Black literary, musical and visual artistic expression introducing us to Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, jazz, tap dancing and yes, even chicken and waffles.   Read More

CommunityHealth & Wellness

A Celebration of African Heritage and Health

By Sarah Dwyer | February 12, 2013

African Heritage Potluck Dinner

A few days ago, you couldn’t find my kitchen table as I anticipated correctly that every corner was covered by bowls and dishes of leafy greens, cabbages, millet, black-eyed peas, sweet potatoes, and layers of injera – the traditional whole-grain flatbread of Ethiopia. These were just some of the menu items I planned for an African heritage potluck I hosted to commemorate African Heritage & Health Week. Read More

News

Educating America on Race Relations: An Interview with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

By Jeannette | February 29, 2012

Photo: Jeffrey Dunn

Photo: Jeffrey Dunn

By: Justin Chan

A distinguished professor at Harvard University and a celebrated scholar on African American studies, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has received a number of awards for his study on Black culture.  He currently directs the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research at the university and has been credited for transforming the school’s African American studies program. In 1981, he received the prestigious MacArthur Foundation grant to fund his research for Black Periodical Literary Project, a venture that collects and annotates Black newspapers and magazines.

A literary critic, Dr. Gates also served as an editor on several anthologies of African American literature and wrote several works in relation to literary theory, including Black Literature and Literary Theory and The Signifying Monkey: Towards a Theory of Afro-American Literary Criticism. Aside from earning more than 50 honorary degrees, he was named as one of Time magazine’s 25 Most Influential Americans in 2007. Check out our interview below with Dr. Gates to learn more about his thoughts on race relations. Read More

News

A Piece of Black History at the Harlem Children’s Zone

By admin | February 29, 2012

HCZ14

On Monday, I experienced one of the most moving moments of my life. I was invited over to the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy, for a special honoring on their behalf for my accomplishments in the community during Black History Month. What was to be an honor in itself to be able to talk to the kids and spread my message a little more, turned into an event which truly humbled me and even left me inspired.

When I arrived at the Promise Academy II, I was welcomed by the Program Coordinator, Titus Mitchell and another very special guest that was also being honored that day- none other than Lt. Col. John Mulzac, an original Tuskegee Airman. Daddy John, as he’s affectionately called, was one of the original recruits to train and fly under what was known as the “Tuskegee Experiment,” the first all African-American pursuit squadron during World War II.

It was an honor just to get to meet Daddy John, but the chance to get to speak to him was life-changing! Read More

News

Empowering Blacks Through African Pride: Remembering Marcus Garvey

By Jeannette | February 28, 2012

Photo: ecarmen2020

Photo: ecarmen2020

By: Justin Chan

One aspect is quite evident when strolling the streets of Harlem, it’s the respect and admiration the neighborhood has for Marcus Garvey. With a park named after him and his face on various murals, to the day-long celebrations throughout Harlem on his birthday, Marcus Garvey and his accomplishments in empowering Blacks are not long forgotten.

Born in Jamaica, Garvey worked as a printer’s apprentice before becoming heavily involved in unions. He took part in a failed printer’s strike, but it encouraged him to engage in political activism. He traveled across Central America and documented the struggles of migration workers as a newspaper editor before enrolling at Birkbeck College in London. During his stay abroad, he also wrote for the African Times and Orient Review, where he promoted Pan-African nationalism.

Garvey soon returned to Jamaica with a determination to unite the African diaspora. Read More

News

The Ultimate Fight Against Discrimination: Remembering William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

By Jeannette | February 23, 2012

Photo: Cliffords Photography

Photo: Cliffords Photography

By: Justin Chan

Martin Luther King Jr. may have rewritten history as a civil rights activist, but William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was one of several African American pioneers who helped pave the way for the advancement of Black rights. Though Du Bois witnessed very few incidents of explicit racism while growing up, he took a special interest in the oppression of Blacks across the country. His doctoral dissertation for Harvard, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published in 1896 and helped earn him a Ph.D. Du Bois was also a dedicated sociologist and produced the first case study of the Black community in the United States.

Initially a believer in the power of social science in solving race disputes, Du Bois realized later that the best method to tackle racial tensions was through protests. He was often at odds with Booker T. Washington, who often encouraged Blacks to patiently endure discrimination temporarily and work their way up the social ladder through hard work. The idea did not sit well with Du Bois Read More

News

George Washington Carver: The Agricultural Genius

By Michael Engle | February 21, 2012

Photo: Maia C

Photo: Maia C

Simple bar snack, M&M filling, a butter to pair with jelly on a sandwich…how many ways could you think to use a peanut?  George Washington Carver found over 300, while cementing the peanut’s legacy as an agricultural good and reestablishing Southern agriculture.

Born in 1864, Carver and his mother were sent to Arkansas by their master, Moses Carver, due to complications arising from owning slaves in Civil War-era Missouri.  When it was learned that George was Moses Carver’s only ex-slave not to have disappeared, Moses bought back George, where he was raised as a free person.  Back in Missouri, young George developed a keen interest in plants and animals, as he often sketched them.  George left home at approximately ten years of age, in pursuit of an education and employment. Read More

News

Mingus’ Legend Lives On

By admin | February 17, 2012

Photo: deSingel International Arts Campus

Photo: deSingel International Arts Campus

By: Melaina Gasbarrino

Charles Mingus is considered one of the most influential musical talents of the twentieth century, and very fitting to commemorate Black History Month. Not only did Mingus create albums and score masterpieces but also was a genius playing the piano and bass. Having toured with the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Miles Davis and Kid Ory he gained ample musical experiences at the start of his career.

Born in 1922 he gained that perfect ear for music at the young age of 8 where he ‘heard Duke Ellington over the radio’ and was also largely influenced by his church choir. Settling in New York City in the 50′s he created his own publishing and recording company to allow his musical talents to flourish. Keen on enabling youth to have the opportunities he did, Mingus founded “The Jazz Workshop” to educate youth on composing the perfect pieces of music. Read More

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About The Team

Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. MarcusSamuelsson.com strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More

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