Tasty history focus of Black history event

For years, DeKalb History Center (DHC) has produced and hosted impressive events each February to bring our community together to celebrate Black History Month. Topics of previous programs include subjects such as civil rights, the jazz age, musicians, and genealogy; but the 2022 event promises to be its most tasty topic yet.

DHC’s 2022 Black History Month celebration will be held Feb. 10 from 11: a.m. until 1: p.m. and focus on the history of soul food in DeKalb County – a topic that is near and dear to the hearts and stomachs of many Southerners and is gaining popularity and appreciation on a much larger scale. Though soul food is often associated with Black culture and history, it is an integral part of our collective history that is based on recipes and foods that have deep roots in African and Native American history and considered comfort food to many.

Southern staples such as fried chicken, pork chops, black eye peas, collard greens, sweet potatoes, and cornbread that most of us grew up eating were once everyday foods typically prepared and eaten by Blacks and lower income Whites but are now often considered as highly sought-after delicacies.

Tiffany Parks, board president of DeKalb History Center and coordinator of the Black History event said, “I want the audience to learn that Soul Food can be a metaphor for so many things: It can represent the resiliency of the African American community. It is called survival food, and these are times that the entire community has to come together and survive. Also, people need to learn the history and origins of Soul Food, especially in DeKalb, so that they can appreciate the places, people, and recipes that shaped DeKalb’s Soul Food history.”

Presenters at event will include culinary historian Akila McConnell, founder and owner of Unexpected Atlanta, travel writer, historian and author of A Culinary History of Atlanta, and chef Jennifer Booker. McConnell and Booker will discuss some of the people, places and recipes that helped shaped DeKalb’s soul food history.

Following the culinary history discussion will be a catered soul food meal prepared by Chef Holly of Phenomenal Foods and a panel discussion about the foods we know and love.

Tickets for Soul Food in DeKalb are $40 for members, $50 for non-members, lunch included. Virtual option available for $5 (members)and $10 (non-members).

To ensure the well-being of guests, volunteers and staff, DeKalb History Center will require each guest to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours of this event. Properly worn masks are required unless attendees are actively eating or drinking.

For additional information, visit dekalbhistory.org/programs/black-history-month-celebration-2022.


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