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Morgan Crocker Blog Post For 9/7

Reading Twitty’s “No More Whistling Walk For Me” really made me think about how history books leave out how badly Africans were treated. Sure the textbooks would talk about slavery and how it was bad, but they never went into detail about how white people mistreated them and all the pain and trauma Africans had to endure just because Europeans were lazy and did not feel like doing the hard work themselves. I feel like Twitty’s stories should be put in history textbooks to get first hand examples of how Africans felt when they were forced into slavery. Twitty stated, “In all my days, I have been asked to prove everything I have ever said, but I have never heard a single one of those docents challenged for using racist folk history as fact.” I feel like that is still a common problem African Americans or just people of color go through, having to prove the things they say so people will believe them. While white people usually do not have to prove every little thing they say, because they are seen as the dominant race which leads people to believe they are smarter as well.  Putting Twitty’s stories in textbooks would show other African Americans how he grew up not liking soul food and also not liking being black, which could potentially help black kids learn what it means to be African American so they won’t grow up hating their history and believing it is all bad.

Twitty also really made me think about southern and soul cuisines and how racial stereotypes, prejudices, cultural attitudes, and intercultural misunderstandings are connected. Southern cuisine is associated with white people, while soul cuisine is associated with black people. What I never really thought about before reading Twitty’s stories was the fact that food was and still is a gateway African Americans can use to feel their way into their past and open up conversations about individuals and group survival. As well as how much goes into cooking, Twitty brings politics and race, sexuality and spirituality, memory, anger, etc by using all of this twitty masters measurements, recipes, and things like that. This shows how helpful knowing your own past is, along with knowing the past of your people.

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Mia Slaunwhite Mia Slaunwhite

    Isn’t it absolutely crazy that food can be more than just food? For me when I travel, I look for food specifically that is familiar to me. I will look for pizza or french fries. It is hard to try new things when what you are familiar with works.

  2. Michael Childress Michael Childress

    I really liked your point that we often associate “southern food” as white, but “soul food” is associated with black people. I hadn’t thought about food as a connection before reading this either. While I was reading though, I couldn’t help but to think about my grandmother’s cooking, and it gave me a sense of home, family, and connectedness. I thought you made a great comparison in how Twitty did not like soul food growing up, and how he resented being black. I think this reflection shows his growth and change of perception; what was once foul tasting food for Twitty became his connection to his roots as he found himself and grew into a man.

  3. Elina Bhagwat Elina Bhagwat

    I really like how you brought up the distinction between soul cuisine and southern cuisine. I thought it was so interesting how Twiddy said that southern soul food “arouses old racial stereotypes”. Also the distinction that you mentioned can be a metaphor for the division that the south had between black and white people. I think it’s interesting how something that seems so simple like food can hold such a powerful message about history and oppression.

  4. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    I agree more first hand accounts of slavery and its fallout should be included in textbooks and studied in school. Telling the stories of slaves, whether historical or fictional, has grown in popularity over the past few years, especially through films such as 12 Years a Slave, Django Unchained, Harriet, etc. These films have their triumphs and faults, but, what is certain is that stories are being told, and the more stories told, the more respect we’ll have for all those affected.

  5. Michael Stein Michael Stein

    Twiddy discussing how his younger self hated his blackness made me recognize the immense privilege I have been granted to enjoy and take pride in my family’s history. For me, there is no shame in my history. The bonds I share with my ancestors derives from a place of pride rather than humiliation. This privilege has allowed me to inherently enjoy my history. In comparison, Twiddy had to learn to appreciate his history, a process that entailed confusion and pain. If as a country, we celebrated African American history, children like Twiddy could grow up as proud, African Americans.

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