Celebrating Black History: From Farm to Fork
By Tash Kimmel
From Kamala Harris to the Black Lives Matter Movement, the past year alone has been one of social reckoning and historic milestones. This February, as we celebrate Black History Month, it’s important to acknowledge how integral the Black diaspora has been in shaping modern American culture and cuisine. Between Black farmers reclaiming land, to coffee’s forgotten Black roots, these podcasts remind us that Black history is present and ever changing, beyond just the 28 days of February.
This week, host Todd Richards welcomes Chef Kevin Mitchell to the show. Appointed South Carolina's State Chef Ambassador, Kevin is also a culinary historian, soon-to-be author, and instructor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Join us for a deep dive into Kevin's knowledge of Soul food as a way of life and a religion.
Join co-hosts Ethan & Vallery for a conversation with Gaïana Joseph and Allegra Massaro, co-founders of Fuel the People, an organization in NYC and DC guided by the belief that food is the fuel for the revolution. They work to provide nourishment to protestors on the front lines, support local Black and POC-owned restaurants and businesses, and donate to local organizations who work tirelessly to support Black liberation. Allegra is a Philadelphia native currently living in Washington, DC. She’s a Bryn Mawr College alumna with a degree in Urban Planning & Development. A recovering financier, she now works in business ethics and conflicts management at an international law firm and is in the midst of the JD/MBA application process. Her quote to live by is, “Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root.'" She is passionate about building community and ensuring that in the fight for justice and liberation, we never forget that joy is also a form of resistance. Gaïana Joseph is a New York native with her roots (and heart) in Haïti. She’s a Smith College alumna with a degree in Africana and French Studies. Somehow, that has brought her two very different careers in Business Process at Penguin Random House and now Project Management at a financial tech company.
Host Nico Wisler speaks with Dallas Robinson, a self-described young black Dyke, who is working to bring a visionary farm and education center to life.
Host Jenna Liut speaks with farmer, educator, author, and food sovereignty activist, Leah Penniman. She is the Co-Founder, Co-Director and Program Manager of Soul Fire Farm in Petersburg, New York, and she is the author of the book, "Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land." For the past 20 years, Leah has worked to end racism and injustice in our food system by increasing farmland stewardship by people of color, promoting equity in food access, and training the next generation of activist farmers.
This episode is all about Bartholomew Jones, a Memphis-based school teacher, hip hop artist, social activist and the founder of Cxffeeblack. With cxffeeblack Bartholomew explores the history of coffee, its deep ties to black culture and its potential for black empowerment. Cxffeeblack also supports and provides opportunities for people of color to create inspiring work. Bartholomew is our musical guest too, and shares some tracks from his recently released album, Cxffeeblack.
Host Yorm Ackuaku speaks with Zimbabwean-born Dr. Tapiwa Guzha. Founder of Tapi Tapi, producing handcrafted ice cream, inspired by the unique flavors of African ingredients. Based in Cape Town, Tapiwa's work is focused on rehabilitation of the collective African esteem around cultural identity, within and beyond food. “In part, Tapi Tapi is focused on rehabilitating the self-esteem of people from the continent about our food practices, as well as our culture and beliefs. I use food because it’s universal, people need to eat. So it’s a nice tool to get people to listen.”
Part 2 of host Yorm Ackuaku’s conversation with Dr. Tapiwa Guzha. Founder of Tapi Tapi, producing handcrafted ice cream, inspired by the unique flavors of African ingredients. Based in Cape Town, Tapiwa's work is focused on rehabilitation of the collective African esteem around cultural identity, within and beyond food.“In part, Tapi Tapi is focused on rehabilitating the self-esteem of people from the continent about our food practices, as well as our culture and beliefs. I use food because it’s universal, people need to eat. So it’s a nice tool to get people to listen.”
The life of Tahiirah Habibi is the journey from the deadly streets of North Philly to homecoming queen AND president at Penn State to sommelier in Miami to founder of the Hue Society in Atlanta, a curated community that serves as a lifestyle hub to all things Black wine culture. A tribute to her smarts, magnetism, intuition and excellence, Tahiirah has created a space for her community, no assimilation necessary. Listen in to hear all she learned along the way.
Host Capri Cafaro is joined by Donna Pierce, writer of the syndicated column "Black America Cooks" & author of a forthcoming book on Freda DeKnight, Ebony Magazine's first food editor. Cafaro also interviews Bruce Kraig, professor emeritus at Roosevelt University. Kraig speaks about Appalachian migration and its impact on Midwestern food.