This June marks the 21st annual recognition of National Soul Food Month, focusing on the heritage and foodways of African Americans and peoples from the African diaspora.
Join food and grill enthusiasts, food editors, chefs, historians, authors and more for the virtual celebration of 21 years of National Soul Food Month™. This virtual program series will focus on African American foodways Past, Present, and Future.
The virtual celebration is in partnership with the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in New York, currently hosting the exhibition “Africa/American: Making the Nation’s Table,” at The Africa Center. This exhibition depicts the story of the contributions African Americans have made in creating the American menu.
The founder of National Soul Food Month is culinary influencer Charla L. Draper, a former food editor of Ebony and Southern Living magazines. Draper notes, “It is important to share the stories of our culture, history, and our contributions, ensuring that we keep soul food on the table.”
The series will launch with Deb Freeman, writer and host of the acclaimed podcast from the Whetstone Radio Collective, “Setting the Table,” which focuses on African American Food and Foodways. The virtual series will include programming in June from Hebni Nutrition Consultants on “Slimmed Down Soul,” and “Seeds to Sustainability,” with chefs Tia and Matthew Raiford of Gilliard Farms, owned by the Raiford family for more than 100 years. Stephanie Hart owner of Chicago’s Brown Sugar Bakery and Confections will also share tips on baking expertise and entrepreneurship.
Food is culture and the culture of African Americans is woven into the fabric of the American menu. From the innumerable folks whose creativity, skills and mother wit led to industry-changing industrial innovations such as Norbert Rillieux, George Washington Carver or Frederick McKinley Jones; to media personalities like Nancy Green or Lena Richards, the first Black woman to host her own television cooking show or Lucille B. Smith who created the first hot roll biscuit mix.
The list of those who contributed to this American cuisine is long and in June we will celebrate some of them, marking 21 years of National Soul Food Month, looking at the Past, the Present and the Future.
For more information, visit www.nationalsoulfoodmonth.com. Purchase tickets via Eventbrite for the series of virtual programs; tickets are $50 per ticket. Each ticket will provide access to the entire series of weekly programs in June.
The National Soul Food Month™ programs will be recorded, and the link will be provided to registered guests. Each participant will receive a swag box through the mail. A donation from the tickets will be made to non-profits providing educational resources focusing on culinary contributions of African Americans, and developing culinary life skills in youth.
Donations from the 2021 program were made to the McCormick-Pedersen Boys & Girls Club Cooking Program and My Block, My Hood, My City Explorers program.
Content provided by Charla Draper.