Personally, I have always been a huge foodie- I love trying new foods, going to restaurants, cooking, family meals and just about everything about food in general. My family enjoys having meals together and we have some favorite recipes, but we don’t really have significant meals/recipes that have been passed down through generations that are basically part of our DNA.
After these readings, I have a completely new perspective on what the concept of food means to some people. With Twitty, it is his whole life, and the backbone of who he is as a person. I found it extremely interesting how he described the connection between food and understanding where someone comes from, his ancestors, and his story, specifically for African Americans in the time period. Food is the link that helps them find their way home, as they have lost so much and attempt to piece their stories back together. I loved when describing this seemingly painful concept, he compared it to the Japanese art of kintsugi, saying “the scars of the object are not concealed, but highlighted and embraced, thus giving them their own dignity and power” (Twitty, 21). I think this idea is very inspiring and one that I will always keep in the back of my mind- that we must overcome and use our adversities to make us stronger.
I cannot imagine the pain, anger, and frustration felt by many as they try to find their ancestors and trace their lineage to a “nonexistent” family tree. I feel disappointed in myself as well as in my past history classes for not learning about this idea at all- that many African Americans do not know who their ancestors are because their records were simply not recorded, names were changed, or they were not even considered people. It has definitely made me feel gratitude as well as guilt for never thinking twice about knowing exactly where my European great-grandparents came from and how I became the person I am today.