We have come to expect and accept black and white in the workplace, on the playing field, in politics, in the military, and we congratulate ourselves on our steady march to racial harmony. But our neighborhoods and our restaurants do not look much different today than they did fifty years ago. That Kingly vision of sitting down at the same table together and breaking bread is as smudgy as it’s ever been.
More than two months before opening arguments in the landmark same-sex marriage cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara stood in a limbo of sorts, between the Arlington County courthouse and the county jail. “Right now, we are second-class citizens in the South,” she said. “What’s happening today is about us telling our country a story that we hope can open people’s hearts and minds.”
An installment in our weekly series, The By and By.
I was prepared to talk about the food that Southerners and Latinos have in common and the blending of our cultures at the table. My presentation focused on the very real culinary movement showcasing harmony among different peoples. My “call to forks,” if I may, is one of unity and community, one that proves we’ve already come together at the table, one that invites us all to understand each other better while we share meals.
An excerpt from the collection Step Into the Circle: Writers in Modern Appalachia.
In my family, the women of generations past—and sometimes present—often found themselves without choices or options, hemmed into lives they could not escape. I recognized them in the pages of Lee’s novels, and I was able to better comprehend their experiences. But I also heard whispers in her chapters, invitations to escape and understand, yes, but also to imagine..