Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Rosa Parks Day + Pancakes

Rosa Parks Pancakes

If Thanksgiving with your family was anything like mine, there was lots of food, family, friends, laughter and lively conversation. But talk turned to the Ferguson grand jury decision as well. As I wrote in a recent blog post about Black Friday, “As black people, we are feeling besieged. How could we not?”

Now that December has arrived and Kwanzaa Culinarians is in full swing again, I couldn’t ignore how many of us of African descent may be feeling. As a food blogger, I often write about food. But food is about family and community too. Cooking and eating together are where important conversations take place.

Right now our families and community are focusing on protecting and respecting black lives. The principles of Kwanzaa can be an elegant reminder of those things that our community has accomplished in the past, what we can do now and in the future.

Umoja: Unity, Building a community that holds together

Kujichagulia: Self-Determination, Speaking for yourself and making choices that benefit the community

Ujima: Collective Work and Responsibility, Helping others within the community

Ujamaa: Cooperative Economics, Supporting businesses that care about the community

Nia: A Sense of Purpose, Setting goals that benefit the community

Kuumba: Creativity, Making the community better and more beautiful

Imani: Faith, Believing that a better world can be created for communities now and in the future

* * *

Today is December 1st and it’s a historic date. It’s the 59th anniversary of the day that Rosa Parks refused to be moved to the back of the bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama and the call for civil rights across the United States.

Rosa Parks Day is celebrated today in Ohio and on February 4th, her birthday, in California. While she died in 2005, she will always be remembered for her bravery. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority is paying tribute to her today with an event that includes a reenactment.

The legacy of Ms. Parks also includes food. Her handwritten recipe for Featherlite Peanut Butter Pancakes was written on the back of an envelope and auctioned by Guernsey’s.

I made this recipe a few weeks ago and loved it. The peanut butter is a wonderful addition to pancakes – a little protein, more flavor and a silky consistency to the batter. I’ll definitely make them again. Maybe you’ll try them too and think about where we’ve been and where we’re going.

Rosa Parks’ Featherlite Peanut Butter Pancakes

1 cup flour
2 T baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 T sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 c milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tbs shortening, melted, or oil

Combine ingredients and cook on a hot griddle. Enjoy!

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Lisa C. Johnson is a food blogger, writer and attorney based in Quincy, Massachusetts. She blogs at Anali’s Next Amendment and was recently published in The Atlantic.

One comment on “Rosa Parks Day + Pancakes

  1. Pingback: Kwanzaa Culinarians 2014 + Rosa Parks Day

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.