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Support Our Culinary Pilgrimage to West Africa

$10,940 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 290 people in 7 months
Created January 19, 2019
RTGFoodies
Thanks to all of you we are about to embark on our third annual pilgrimage to West Africa with Roots to Glory.  We are going to Togo and Benin where over one million enslaved Africans were exiled to the Americas during the 17th-19th centuries.  This trip is very special and very sacred indeed.  We are taking James Beard Foundation award and grant winners(including Chef Kenyatta Ashford), Gullah/Geechee Chef B.J. Dennis and young up and coming community chefs from Los Angeles, Detroit and Madison on an unforgettable mission to reclaim our culinary heritage and make connections with new family.  We are finally filming our journey with the amazingly talented African American filmmaker and photographer Casey Wright!  2019 represents the 300th anniversary of African presence in Louisiana (the first Africans brought there were from Benin) but it also represents the 400th anniversary of the African presence in British mainland North America starting with Jamestown and we want to honor our ancestors journey by returning home and bringing back healing cultural knowledge we can make available on various social media platforms including YouTube.  You will be able to come with us in spirit on social media, as we make our way through the territory of an ancient African kingdom (Dahomey) but afterwords you will be able to see the final product---first impressions and culinary lessons we pick up as we learn to prepare food from villagers across both countries.  For most of this group, this is their first trip to West Africa, the home of a huge part of America's cultural and culinary story.   We've never sought to raise this much money before but we want to make sure some of the leading Black culinary figures get this opportunity and at the end we have a really quality end product we can all be proud of. By documenting traditional cooking techniques, songs, dances, healing  practices and methods of growing, preserving and serving food we want to educate all viewers about the interconnected nature of food, history, culture, health and movement on the Continent.  We hope the knowledge we bring back will save lives, inspire genealogical journeys and create an enthusiasm for other pilgrimages to Africa and generate economic opportunities for our new family.  Most of all we just want the opportunity to document in living color an epic trip of return 400 years in the making.   If you want we can add a few of your Ancestors names to our libation ceremony which we will record at the slave port of Ouidah on the Atlantic Ocean.
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this is an article about Chef Kenyatta Ashford: this is what you're doing when you give, you're creating a new generation of teachers and chefs: http://www.chattanoogapulse.com/citylife/news/kenyatta-ashford-historian-chef/
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We are so thrilled to see the outpouring of generosity and support. Here is a picture of drying okra in Ghana used for both medicine and food. Our job will be to document these traditions as we visit Togo and Benin.
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$10,940 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 290 people in 7 months
Created January 19, 2019
RTGFoodies
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6 months ago
FH
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