last night i went to a friend's house for dinner with my family and some other friends. i love this woman, she's german, and she can throw down when she cooks. whenever we go to her house for dinner, she always makes her favorite german dishes, and it's always SO good.
i think it's fabulous when my asian and german friends can just whip up dishes from their home country. and it got me thinking. what are dishes from my country? i guess it would help to know what country my ancestors are from. hmmm. i dont have a clue (thanks, slave massa...) i mean, if it weren't for slavery, WE would know so much more about ourselves- why i have this feature or that feature, the characteristics of my country in the continent of africa. but all that was stripped away from us.
and the foods. i don't even know a name of an African food. sure, i could google some on the internet, but that's not the point. it's just not the same as cooking it from the heart, remembering your grandma making it for you as a family dish while you're growing up. it's like being adopted and not knowing your parents history or anything about where you came from.
okay, so we have grease-soaked, cholesterol-raising soul-food, which is not the same thing. my family tries to eat healthy. i'm not into all that soul food, which is actually american soul food. but it's not even healthy. i love collard greens. but i'm into eating healthy. how come the soul food is so bad for us? that's not cool. i don't cook soul food, and where i live, i'd never serve it because most of my friends are health conscious as well. i mean, is there a healthy way to cook Mac and cheese? it's only real soul food with a ton of butter and cheese. no thanks.
i guess that's why i prefer to be called black, as opposed to african american. it never felt right for me to be called african-american. i mean, i know its the politically correct name and all that, for different reasons. black people want to feel that connection to where they originated. white people refer to us that way because they dont want to offend and they figure that's what we want.
but even though my ancestors are from africa, i dont feel any ties to africa. how could i? i've never even been there. my grandma's grandma had never been there. i've never known any family from there. the true africans, the ones who have moved here recently from africa - from what i understand, they dont even like us. they're not like black americans(in a good way), in that they havent experienced the black[american] experience. i dont know if they even relate to the materialistic, hip hop world in which we're associated with (hey...maybe i'm more african than i think?).
in my opinion, being black is like this:
u.s. slavery history
when i used to refer to myself as african-american, it just didnt feel right. maybe i didnt do it enough. it just felt like i was trying to be something i wasn't. i'm american through and through. unfortunately, i dont know enough about africa.