In America, soul food is not even meant for human consumption. All of this heavily processed meat, toxic starches, and vegetables are killing us. It’s the same food that has been fed to slaves by the slave masters as a means of survival. Now, soul food is killing us mentally and physically. In the black community, most of our family have died of heart disease or a stroke from eating too much soul food. So it begs the question, How can food that is so toxic to our bodies, be referred to as soulful?
According to the “AAREG” (African American Registry) hears what they had to say about Soul Food, “Unfortunately, regular consumption of these ingredients without significant exercise or activity to work the calories off often contributes to disproportionately high occurrences of obesity… and or diabetes. It has also been a factor in African Americans often having a shortened lifespan.” In summary, We are what we eat. And what we eat most of the time, is not good for our souls.
The Boondocks is a comedy show that features a suburban black family’s wild adventures. A profound, yet young boy named Huey Freeman discusses what’s wrong in the black community numerous times. Huey is constantly silenced by the world and unfortunately, his own family. For example, Huey Freeman discusses the horribly flawed movie “Soul Food” in the episode “The Itis”. The movie is about an overweight Grandmother named “Big Mama” who feeds her family an unhealthy diet of fried oily foods out of “love.” Her leg was amputated and eventually, she dies.
However, the family doesn’t actually change their eating habits. They decided to keep eating the same food that killed “Big Mama”. Huey was trying to inform his Granddad that his soul food restaurant was going to kill people. Granddad didn’t listen because he is just like the typical black person longing for tradition. The tradition is we eat, fall asleep, and do it all over again. In the black community, I’ve learned we are so scared to change tradition and are afraid to tell the ones we love, “No!”
Dick Gregory even explains the dangers of soul food in the documentary, “Soul Food Junkies” by saying “Soul food, should call it death food because it will kill you.” In this documentary, the director, Byron Hurt discusses how his father died because his diet consisted of soul food and fast food. Hurt came back from college and tells his father that he concerned about his recent weight gain. His father looked at him and told Bryon that he didn’t know what he was talking about.
“We ate this way our whole lives. There ain’t nothing wrong with us.” This tired rhetoric that has been passed down for far too long and doesn’t make any sense. Recently my “black card” was taken away from me because I refused to eat pig feet. I found it comical because this is how you can trick black people into keeping their precious card. Just tell them their “black card” will be taken from them and watch how many black people will eat pig feet and fried chicken to prove how “Black they are”. I know, weird right! But trust me, I don’t give a damn about losing my black card. I care about living longer, race has nothing to with eating healthy. We need to analyze and focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, less or no meat because a diet of heavily oily foods is killing us. No more holding onto tradition. Traditions are meant to be broken. I get it, that’s what we did back then to survive. Well, guess what, we don’t need to eat that way anymore. Our family members died at a young age mostly because of poor dieting habits. So black people, think about this before indulging in “Soul food.”