These Staples Of Black Thanksgivings Have Deep Connections To Black History

thanksgiving feast on the table
Alyssa Guzik
November 16, 2023

Mac n' Cheese is easily among the Black community's most popular and hotly debated foods. The creamy dish as it exists today was the brainchild of Black chef James Hemings over 200 years ago. It has been and will always be a staple of Black Thanksgiving tables.

We may not have created Potato Salad, but it sure has become our Auntie's favorite food to argue over. The ease of access to the ingredients combined with the low cost and versatility of the dish makes it not just one of the most delicious dishes of the holiday spread but one that brings out the food critics in every family.

Cornbread was a staple among our enslaved ancestors. It was rare that they got nutritious food or enough time to eat. Its heft, flavor variability, and ability to transport and eat it easily made cornbread a go-to. Today, everything from honey to Cheese and jalapenos is added to make this staple extra special.

Collard Greens are on most Black family tables during the holidays. They were one of the very few crops that Black folks were allowed to harvest for themselves during slavery. The tradition of sharing in this dish has continued since then.

Thanksgiving is already a time when we share and embrace what we're grateful for with loved ones. Knowing the deep and rich history behind the specific foods we enjoy on this holiday adds to our appreciation of our culture and the joy we all get from grubbing down hard.

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