February in the U.S. has always been a time to honour Black History, but for black food bloggers, this is also a time to specifically observe our rich black culinary antiquity. This year almost 40 black creatives did so by contributing recipes to a celebratory roster of entrees, appetizers, and desserts that reflect the diversity and range of cuisine that make up the African diaspora.
This annual initiative is called the Black History Month Virtual Potluck. Since 2017, participating black food bloggers have been using their collective platforms to highlight the ingredients, people, and stories that make up the tapestry of black cuisine.
Since co-founding this event, I’ve learned that no matter what continent you are on, black people are there, shaping society, culture, and food. Inversely, the environment, resources, and experiences surrounding us help shape our unique perspectives, especially as it relates to our food heritage. See for yourself, the potluck’s menu of recipes share a common thread of ingredients, cooking methods, and shared experiences that connect us no matter where we are. From foods indigenous to Africa like black-eyed peas, okra, and rice to adopted American southern classic ingredients like cornmeal, sweet potato, and collard greens, this group of bloggers shared their new and old food traditions served up on a plate.
“Participating in the Black History Month Virtual Potluck has become a welcomed self-care ritual that feeds my soul and allows me to reacquaint myself with recipes passed down to me from my ancestors. It is also an opportunity to dive into my collection of Black cookbooks, and learn more about the rich history of Black American cuisine, which is heavily rooted in the African diaspora, says Geo Banks-Weston, founder of the blog Geo’s Table. “
Join us in celebrating this Black History Month with this compilation of reimagined diasporic recipes from the American South, Africa, and the Caribbean. You can check out the full roster of soul-warming recipes below, and be sure to show each of these fantastic black food bloggers some love! You can also check out all the participating bloggers on Instagram using the hashtag #BHMVP2021.