Lately, I’ve been finding myself feeling great despair about the state of affairs in this country. With so much violence against our black and brown brothers and sisters and transwomen and men, ridiculous anti-immigrant and anti-woman presidential candidates, and the complacency around rape culture, to name only a few things, I have been actively trying to remember what I love about this place. Since this blog has been really helpful in guiding me through some of my issues around anxiety and insecurity (public vulnerability is pretty rad), I thought I could do something similarly transformative (for me). Therefore, I’m starting a new and long-term series that will highlight a community in each state, and focus on the resilient and diverse people who make up this nation great. Each entry will go through a select community living in a state, provide a brief and interesting history of that group in that locale, and highlight a dish related to them, which I will have cooked and eaten. Per example, for the state of Alabama I’d like to delve into the history of Africatown’s people (a community formed after a wealthy businessman brought the last known ship filled with captured Africans to the United States on a $100,000 even though the trans-Atlantic slave trade had been outlawed for more than fifty years), and cook something with Ghanian influence.
As somewhat of a nerd(!), I am very much looking forward to the process of researching each state’s communities and its histories of migrants and indigenous people. While some may view this series as somewhat tedious and didactic, I very much believe it will reinvigorate my sense of joy when thinking about this nation. Learning a little about how people have come to be part of strong communities will be a small act of love.
Though I’m trying to be more flexible with my own goals, I’m hoping to publish two of these entries per month. I will continue to post my “regular” stuff, but thought it would be fun to intersperse this series throughout the blog. I probably won’t start this until mid-September, since my husband’s amazing parents will be visiting from Italy. But, be prepared for some geeky fun, exploration of foods, and a whole lot of love for this country’s diversity!