WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT?
This project seeks to preserve and perhaps resurrect a dying facet of modern life: our deep connection to the foods that are a vital part of our identity, our history, our experiences and our cultural future.
More than sentimental reminiscences or cliched celebrations of "creole" or "soul" food, SoulCreole: The Cookbook, is a story of finding God in the quiet boil of rice; of enjoying the richest pleasures in the humblest ingredients; and, of recognizing food's sacred ability to facilitate healing, evolution and empowerment.
WHAT AM I DOING?
I am currently working on a collection of foodways nonfiction and photography that delves into the sophistication and earthiness of southern cooking, especially in sustaining and connecting African American families.
The book will deal specifically with the food, family and culture of my Northern Mississippi and Southern Louisiana roots, in the style of Edna Lewis’s “The Taste of Country Cooking”, an American classic.
My mother’s family hails from the Mississippi Delta, where they were doing farm-to-table long before it was cool or hip. My father’s family is centered in Creole Louisiana, specifically New Orleans and its environs, and the food of that region is as much a part of me as my last name.
I will be traveling to other cities and towns (Opelousas, Lafayette and Lake Charles...perhaps others as time and resources permit), as well, to include stories of families there.
I want to tell this story and hope to do it justice.
WHO AM I?
I am a native New Orleanian, educated in the public schools of Orleans and Jefferson parishes. I hold a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Louisiana State University (1991).
I am a writer who works part time for a local nonprofit organization that focuses on afterschool enrichment for underserved children and families. One of our many projects is the "ADVENTures in Reading!" Literacy Initiative, where notable Louisianans read to our students from books by Louisiana authors.
I have been writing poetry for three decades. I have come to flash nonfiction over the past ten years or so. The two forms, for me, have been a natural set of siblings: poetry arrives and communicates in an “inspired instant”, a lightning bolt of consciousness, whereas flash nonfiction takes that same jolt of experience and communicates with burning urgency a small tableau of human nature, exploration and meaning.
HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?
The funds raised through GoFundMe would help to cover the costs of recipe development, gasoline, lodging, internet access in remote places (such as the bayou communities of Davant and St. Sophie, LA), transcription of interviews and a refurbished laptop.
Thank you, most sincerely, for considering me and my work.
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