We Will Not Normalize

We will discuss politics and difficult topics over dinner.

This is not normal.

We must not normalize.

We must resist the oppression of American progress and American freedom.

We must create and express ourselves.

My art is food.

You are cordially invited to read about my dinner party series that will hopefully take you out of your comfort zone and leave you uncomfortably alive, awake and un-normalized.

Food is the vehicle to gather us together, to give us energy, to awaken our senses – to keep us comfortable and nourished during real conversation. Together we will build community – a safe space to dig deep.

Inspired by the Nigerian Chef Tunde Wey’s pop-up “Blackness in America” the dinner is designed to help us embrace discomfort in a comforting environment.

We will be uncomfortable but we must not remain uncomfortably numb. In one of my many forms of protest, I will create my art through food and conversation in the form of a dinner parties throughout the year. Not to problem solve – no dinner party will solve the problems of America – but to talk, interact, dig deep and create community. Strangers. Friends. People who would not normally come together all coming together on the right side of history. For me, this is a small act we can take to better understand varying perspectives and not normalize.

And I must start this today.

Today, Friday January 20, 2017 is one of the most uncomfortable days in my personal history – watching one of the men I most respect, a man of color who has worked hard for everything he has achieved who lives his life in service of others turn over the greatest power to a man who has been handed everything on a golden platter and lives in service of himself at the cost of others. I watched one of the most eloquent educated and respectable presidents turn the keys of the white house over to a deplorable person.

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I watched the country that has moved 2 steps forward take 5 steps back as minutes after the inauguration the new administration deleted the pages on LGBT rights, civil rights, environmental protection and healthcare. Not only that one of the first moves was to update his Twitter account and steal the image of the 2009 election…because frankly people did not feel inspired enough to show up for the inauguration in 2017. I did not feed into the media and watch the inauguration, but reports suggest it was the speech not of an American president but that of a fascist (ummm, Hitler anyone?) and the words of Bane from the Dark Knight Rises.

But I am emboldened. I will not stay silent in the face of injustice, intolerance, and oppression.

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Join me in my journey.

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