Essay On African American Culture

1177 Words5 Pages
Culture is defined by the famous anthropologists Bates and Plog as a “system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that the members of society use to deal cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning”(1976, p6 ). Culture affects everything a person does, including food choices, preparation, and beliefs. Considered a distinct cultural group in the United States, African Americans have kept a strong sense of their culture. This culture is reflected in the cuisine of African Americans. PGPH 1 The roots of African-American cuisine may be traced back to 1619, when the first African slaves were sold in the New World. In order to provide the farm labour needed to grow crops, Europeans forcefully transported many Africans. West Indians were also forcefully transported to the U.S. since the West Indies (in the Caribbean Sea) was part of the slave route to…show more content…
The history of African and West Indian culture is reflected in many of the recipes and food traditions that remain popular today. The southern United States, where the slave population was greatest, has developed a cooking culture that remains true to the African-American tradition. As Doris Witt notes in her book Black Hunger (1999), the "soul" of the food refers loosely to the food's origins in Africa. Some common soul foods include intestines (chitterlings), pork chops, fried porgies, potlikker, turnips, watermelon, black-eyed peas, grits, hushpuppies, and pancakes. Today, many of these foods are eaten by African Americans only on holidays and special occasions. Southern food, on the other hand, is eaten more often. It includes dishes such fried chicken, sweet potato pie, collard greens, and barbecued meats. PGPH
Open Document