A new day dawned and rays of sunlight stretched through the morning sky just as my car steered me to this place. Traffic on my usual route to the office gave me the opportunity to take the scenic route. After heeding the call of the universe, I pulled over and captured the moment pictured above. Spark Stoves, advertised on this barn, manufactured stoves in the first half of the 20th Century and published a 1926 cookbook called Spark Lid-top Gas Stove Cookbook, by Lela Adams. At that time, many believed the woman’s place was in the home. On the cookbook first page, it reads “Mrs. Adams says:”
There is, in fact, a new day on the horizon. A new day breaking over old, decaying misconceptions and prejudices. A new day when we all must break free from those old stereotypes, break down the barriers created by sexism, racism and bigotry, and our break through our own perspectives to discover new worlds glimpsed through the eyes of others. Every day. Many times a day. All with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to be part of the solution as an ally or, better yet, an accomplice, as Shakirah Simley implores in her powerful essay entitled, “How Food Can Be a Platform for Activism.” This is a new day when women and people of color must be revered. Dark forces still exist and will be encountered along the way. But they must be recognized, exposed, and eradicated.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do to create more positive change in the world. I want to shop, eat and live my values. That requires curiousity, consciousness, and collaboration. It requires listening more than talking. Thinking deeply before acting, rather than behaving instinctively. I have been incredibly inspired by Julia Turshen’s book, Feed the Resistance: Recipes and Ideas for Getting Involved. Turshen assembled a team of diverse and powerful voices in the food industry, recognizing the power of food and intersectionality. As Turshen says, “To think deeply about food is also to think deeply about the environment, the economy, immigration, education, community, culture, families, race, gender, and identity. Food is about people, all people.” Feed the Resistance, page 12.
I had the pleasure of meeting Turshen, Simley and several other of the Feed the Resistance contributors at a book event last November at San Francisco’s Museum of African Diaspora (MOAD). The book event opened with a song (by Jocelyn Jackson), consisted of a powerful panel (including Turshen, Preeti Mistry, Maya-Camille Broussard, Nik Sharma, Yana Gilbuena, Shakirah Simley, and Bryant Terry), ended with a poem (composed in real time and performed by Stephen Satterfield), and inspired many. After the event, I’ve procured some of the contributors’ books, subscribed to Satterfield’s Whetstone Magazine, and committed to learn more about the past, understand forces at work in the present, and remain resolute to effect positive change in the future.
So in this new year, on the dawn of a new day, I plan to support women and people of color in the food industry, in politics, and in all other walks of life. I hope you, too, will invest some time to listen to these and other voices and become an accomplice in the movement. These are a few resources to help along the journey:Recommended reading:
- Feed the Resistance, by Julia Turshen - proceeds go to the ACLU. Right on, Chronicle Books!
- Cherry Bombe cookbook, magazine, and podcast - by women to elevate women in food
- Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed, by Bryant Terry
- The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook, by Preeti Mistry & Sarah Henry
- Whetstone Magazine, a magazine on food origin and culture, founded by Stephen Satterfield
- A Brown Table, Nik Sharma’s beautifully written and shot column the San Francisco Chronicle
- Forked: A New Standard of American Dining, by Saru Jayaraman
Charities and Causes in need of our support: