Support #BlackLivesMatter hits close to home simply due to my Black heritage.  As an Afro-Jamaican woman, my mother and family overall instilled a sense of confidence that radiated through food.   For example, every Saturday morning consisted of my family and I playing nostalgic reggae music, performing household chores, and having my favorite traditional breakfast of hand-kneaded fried dumplings, dipping them scarpetta-style into a sautéed mixture of cod, onions, and bell peppers.  They were golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.  Food may not seem very important when discussed together with #BlackLivesMatter.  However, food is essential for life, and therefore, the support of #BlackLivesMatter is imperative in this realm.


As I grew older, it was fulfilling to learn how to cook other dishes that represented my culture.  I cooked curry chicken, rice & beans, and spicy yet savory jerk chicken for college friends and church congregation members.  My family hosted potluck dinners during times of fellowship and even cooked for Super Bowl parties.

In addition, it's also a Fourth of July family tradition for me to make baked mac and cheese from scratch to honor the freedom of brethren in the United States of America and support #BlackLivesMatter through soul food.

Dining Out at Black-Owned Restaurants  

I live in New Jersey and have been doing remote classes from home, so when I go to dine out at black-owned restaurants, Ada's Gojjo is my first choice.

Located near the Asbury Park beach and boardwalk, it's very laid back yet bursting with a vibrant aura.  Some of my favorite dishes include empanadas, a Cubano sandwich, and arroz y gandules (rice and pigeon peas).

Empanadas are pure amazement in the palm of your hand!  They're yummy with a golden brown and flaky yet soft shell.  At Ada's Gojjo specifically, they're stuffed with either chicken or beef, but they can be stuffed with almost anything.  I even had an empanada stuffed with Nutella and banana in Chicago as a dessert while dining with my family.  We as Jamaicans have commonalities geographically and through food with beef patties and also have all sorts of stuffing options within patties such as chicken, vegetables, and more.

The pickles of the Cubano sandwich stand out the most for me due to the crunch and savory appeal that balances out the smoothness of the meats and cheeses.  Mustard adds a zest, and mayonnaise adds a creaminess to make for my favorite sandwich of all time due to my zeal for Spanish-speaking cultures. Afro Latin(os/as) are an essential perspective to demonstrate support of #BlackLivesMatter and include my brother-in-law and nephews of Dominican and Belizean heritage.

Music and Rap Snacks

Cookbooks and international music collections pique my interests and are my favorite items to check out from my local community library.  I discovered a series of international music that has recipes included in the music pamphlet corresponding to region theme.  Other cultures within the African Diaspora represented in this collection include regions of Africa, the Caribbean, West Indies, Latin America (North, Central, and South America), and more.

Examples of such recipes include Bajan salt fish cakes, chicken yassa, plantain fritters, beef and spinach stew, and Bahamian seafood casserole.  Bajan salt fish cakes are Barbadian, and my Jamaican mother makes similar ones.  It's beautiful how regions across the Diaspora share commonalities, yet our culture is depicted from various perspectives.

I support #BlackLivesMatter through food by purchasing Rap Snacks from God-fearing, community-minded, family business, and hip hop visionary emperors Master P and Romeo Miller, who are prospective owners of Reebok.

Final Thoughts

My family is blessed to be able to visit our motherland of Africa, specifically Tanzania, South Africa, and Morocco, and to travel all around the world.  Vacations to Africa alone honor and support #BlackLivesMatter by paying it forward through economics and culture knowledge.  I support #BlackLivesMatter wholeheartedly, especially through food.