These women, their stories + legacies, are the foundation upon which Our Mothers’ Kitchens was built. Their voices were the quiet soundtrack of our black womanhood, singing, long before we even knew their songs.
The Grand Mother, The Seed
Vertamae. Our sweet “grand mother”. Our chosen ancestor. In her own words, she be “a cosmic force. / culinary griot. / mother to two sagittarian daughters. / geechee girl.” She be the seed.
Zaki. Girl. If she can cook, you know we can. Her name means “she who has her own things”. She told us to claim what is ours. She be the inspiration.
Zora Neale Hurston
Zora. This magical being has touched + influenced each one of these mamas. She was so special, the universe “was happy to break a few rules just to show [her} preference.” She be the spirit that feeds us.
Alice. It was her poignant essay In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens that helped bring an idea to life. She reminds us to “Love the Folk. Love [ourselves]. Regardless.” She’s gifted us much. She be the namesake.
While the women listed here were not the main inspiration for this particular project, it is they who sparked the passion + need to pursue this work. It was these women here who led us down the path of exploring + celebrating the richness of our language + our diaspora’s cultures. It was the work of these women who fed us before OMK. It was these women who brought us together.
Author of Talkin’ + Testifyin’
Toni Cade Bambara
Editor of The Black Woman: An Anthology
Author of Honey, I Love
Author of Parable of the Sower
While OMK is undoubtedly badass WOMEN POWERED where would we be without our brothers, our babas, our friends, allies + partners? The kitchen is not solely a “woman’s space” + cooking is not solely “woman’s work”. We have been blessed with some badass brothers who have taught + inspired us to go hard for our community. We do love our black men.