The terms African/Black Heritage and Black History can solicit different ideas and images. But is there a difference between the two? One could say that African Heritage refers to all people that are of African descent and that are a part of the African Diaspora; and that Black History is a specific reference to Black people in the United States. But when the month of February comes around every year, which do you celebrate? Black Heritage Month or Black History month President Obama made a proclamation on National African-American History Month.
History.com informs us that Black History Month began in 1976, (a lengthier celebration than Carter G. Woodson’s original weeklong tribute) and that Canada and the United Kingdom also celebrate a month of black history.
The Continental African Community, Inc defined African Heritage Month as a time that is dedicated to the achievements of continental Africans. (Guessing that the use of continental refers to present day people from Africa that were not a part of the Atlantic Slave Trade) They celebrate in the month of September and claim a county in Maryland was the first in the nation to proclaim the month February 2011
So are these months–African-American History Month, Black History Month, and African Heritage Month– meant to celebrate different types of people?
Maybe the difference between them all is just a matter of word choice. Whether we celebrate Black History Month. Black Heritage Month, or African Heritage Month, we all have the same intentions: to keep our culture alive, honor those that came before us, and continue to pave the way for those that follow.
Black-owned cannabis companies
The cannabis green rush takeover in America is here. With 42 states legalizing the sticky treat in some sort of fashion, it was once used to destroy black families in the war on drugs. According to the ACLU, black people are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than any other race and given harsher sentences.
Since its legalization, black people have been fighting for the opportunity to fairly get a slice of Mary Jane’s economic pie. Some are even currently serving life sentences for selling small amounts of weed, while the same vice that put them in jail is making white people wealthy cannabis entrepreneurs, who get awarded with front-page cover stories tailored by magnificent headlines.
One of the nations leading cannabis companies is owned by former NBA star Al Harrington and he named it after his grandmother, Viola. The company, whose CMO is former Combs Enterprises executive Ericka Pittman, recently inked a $16 million deal with Gotham Green Partners, which essentially helped to bust the door down for minority ownership.
Four-time NBA champion John Salley and his daughter Tyla Salley teamed up for their family cannabis brand Deuces 22, distributing loud flowers while simultaneously fighting social injustice and stigmas through their educational arm, Deuces Academy.
Kush and Cute is a cannabis brand owned by a woman named Iyana Edouard, who hopes to bring education and awareness to black women about the benefits of CBD and the marijuana industry. Kush and Cute is all about girl power with its unique blends of CBD-treated bath bombs, beauty skin oils, coffee scrubs, hair nourishing oils and more in a holistic way.
Blunts and Moore
Oakland’s first dispensary to open up under The Town’s Equity program happens to be the bustling Blunts and Moore, which is headed by Alphonso “Tuck” Blunt Jr. and Brittany “Bri” Moore. Since 2018, the bright-orange weed shop has made its presence known as it sits right across from the historical Oracle Arena where the Golden State Warriors dominate all their games.
Entrepreneur Doug Cohen and chef Miguel Trinidad want to remove the stigma surrounding edibles and they’re doing just that with their New York-based 99th Floor super-exclusive cannabis dining experience. Naturally, food and weed go together just as much as food and wine. So, an experience like this only makes sense as states across the country begin to legalize pot.
Discover Gullah-Geechee Cuisine on a Culinary Road Trip Through South Carolina and Georgia
The area of the Southeast coast known as the Lowcountry is home to a unique food culture kept alive by the Gullah-Geechee community. By Michael W. Twitty
Centuries ago, coastal Georgia and South Carolina was the landing place for many of the enslaved Africans brought to America to work on plantations. On the coast grew a blend of crops, but mainly indigo and rice (and more rice, and after that, even more rice). Along the tidal creeks and rivers, rice was queen, and on the islands, silky, fragile Sea Island cotton reigned, keeping the cosmopolitan worlds of Charleston and Savannah, and their white gentry, moving.
Over time, the enslaved people of this region developed a cuisine of their own—one informed by their roots in West and Central Africa but brought to life by the bountiful produce of the Lowcountry. Today, food is one of the few arenas where locals let their guard down, and cultural expression is as unabashed and as loud as you desire. This is where part of the story of Southern hospitality was born. As sure as you will sip pineapple iced tea, the Gullah-Geechee people are generous and obliging. There is an eagerness to prove that the food is special, that it has a history, and that it is a deeply important American cuisine. It has retained its African spirit despite the influence of British, German, French Huguenot, Sephardic Jewish, and Native American communities that, over the course of centuries, informed Lowcountry cuisine and culture.
Passionate about traditional dishes and ingredients, My chef-brother Benjamin "BJ" Dennis IV has been reconnecting me to my Gullah-Geechee heritage for more than a decade. He caters to events and hosts pop-up dinners throughout South Carolina, taking his guests beyond shrimp and grits. "Try this," with BJ, means fresh fruit from the yellowish-orange jelly palm, or a bite of conch (technically, Northern whelk) served with a white gravy over rice or shredded okra leaves alongside pot-roasted venison. He comes by this knowledge honestly and sincerely: he learned to forage with his grandparents, and he makes his rounds with the culinary elders of the region—farmers, fishermen, oystermen and crabbers and shrimpers. They are the people who do more than just produce. They are the people who know.
Gullah-Geechee language used to be known as "baby talk," considered a confusing adaptation of old-world English. But in our slightly more enlightened era, it's become appreciated as a tongue all its own, partly based on West African grammar and vocabulary. Traditional Gullah-Geechee music crossed over into the mainstream during the Civil Rights era. This included the famous folk hymn, "Kumbaya," and the essential spiritual ritual, the Shout, a counterclockwise dance that is key to religious expression and is accompanied by percussive stomping and clapping, which further differentiated the Gullah-Geechee in the eyes of outsiders.
Sometime in the 1760s, a woman from the Mende community in Sierra Leone disembarked from a slave ship in Charleston harbor. Sold at auction in a terrifying practice called "the scramble," where buyers rushed in and grabbed whatever enslaved chattel they chose, the woman, who had inherited centuries of knowledge about rice, cotton, and indigo growing and harvesting, became someone's property. She had a daughter, and that daughter had a daughter and named her Nora. Nora begat Hester, Hester had Josephine, Josephine had Mary, Mary had Hazel, and Hazel had Pat. And Pat, a child of the baby boom, had a Gen Xer, and that Gen Xer is me.
Where to Eat in the Lowcountry: Charleston, Savannah, and Hilton Head Island in South Carolina all have hotels and home-stays—perfect if you prefer a kitchen for cooking with market finds.
Sallie Ann Authentic Gullah Tour The island's oyster trade is a key part of this historical bus tour. 843-686-2227.
My Three Sons You can't go wrong with the red rice and smothered pork chops.
Nana's Seafood & Soul: The garlic crab with shrimp is a must-try.
Nigel's Good Food: Don't miss the signature stewed turkey wings.
Shrimp & Grits: Famous for cheddar grits with salmon or garlic shrimp.
To make the month a bit more nourishing for everyone stuck at home, Fast Company has scoured the streaming services for a bounty of entertaining and often enlightening films and TV shows that showcase either Black stories or the talents of Black creators
1. Sister, Sister on Netflix
2. A Different World on Amazon Prime
3. Pose, on Netflix, ballroom culture in the 1980s,
4. American Son on Netflix
5. Coming 2 America, Amazon Prime in March.