Black History Month Great Black Person #12 of 28:
Food was pretty good already, but it got even better with the addition of soul. The history of soul food and southern cooking is pretty interesting if you ever get a chance to read into it; it's very much tied into slavery and plantation life. Soul food staples such as okra, rice, and turnips all originated in Africa and other soul food dishes such as collards, cornbread, and hushpuppies were all perfected by slaves who had little else to work with in the kitchen. Fun fact: Many historians rank hushpuppies as the third most important thing to come out of the Civil War, right behind the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address. I would argue that they should be second because, unlike the Gettysburg Address, I never had to memorize hushpuppies in high school. Call me crazy, but I think soul food goes a long way in helping bringing the races together in the South. You can't argue about the President, politics, or social issues with your mouth full of sweet potato pie. So thank you, Soul Food, for all that you've done and all that you've taught me: that gravy is its own food group, that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable, and that chicken and waffles DO go together.