On Paula Deen, the Big House Kitchen and Where Them Hoecakes Really Came From

Abby Zimet

Amidst the media uproar over a discrimination lawsuit against TV chef and entrepreneur Paula Deen - How often did she say the n-word? Did she plan a plantation dinner with slaves? Is she a racist? Well, duh - comes the clear, calm, pissed but thoughtful voice of Michael Twitty, a black Jewish chef, writer and fellow Southerner whose Cooking Gene Project explores the food history of slaves and enslavers. In an open letter to Deen rejecting "the national surprise towards you saying the word 'nigger' (as) an attempt to hide the pervasiveness of racism," Twitty focuses on "the realities of our struggles with identity as a nation" and the "culinary injustice" of plantation museums where "the food that those plantations were renowned for came from Black men and Black women truly slaving away in the detached kitchens....dying multiple deaths of anonymity and cultural amnesia."

"I am probably more angry about the cloud of smoke this fiasco has created for other issues surrounding race and Southern food.  Systemic racism in the world of Southern food and public discourse, not your past epithets, are what really piss me off."

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article

More in: