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Rosie

Soul Food and Religion

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I'm wondering, from the title of your book, "Soul Food: Recipes and Reflections from African-American Churches," what influence has religion had on soul food?"

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Hi Rosie,

I decided to do a cookbook on soul food and the African-American church because the church is and always has been such a major institution. Years ago the church was our first school; and we also went there for concerts, recitals, theater performances, weddings, baptisms, funerals, political rallies, civil rights forums. And at almost every gathering, food was on the table.

Remember, there were Jim Crow laws covering restaurants in the Old South, and Up North the situation wasn't a lot better. So much of the social life of African-Americans took place in the confines of the comforting church.

That's the reason why I linked my first cookbook to this important institution. I wanted to celebrated two of our sustaining legacies: our church and our culinary genius.

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