Five ways the Sunday dinner tradition brings black families together
Food is for more than survival, it’s a moment when memories are created and survival commemorated
In lots of households, Sundays are reserved for quality time with family, and that usually includes an elaborate dinner — a tradition many black families have carried forward for generations. No matter the menu, preparing and eating Sunday dinner is a reason to bring families together.
Looking as far back as the Bible and further, breaking bread together has been used to forge familial commitment. Family dinner for black families is for more than survival, it’s a moment where memories are created and survival commemorated.
Below are five ways food and cooking help families stay close.
space to share stories, shaRe love and gossip
New jobs, additions to families or exaggerated stories from 30 years ago surface at Sunday dinner. If lucky, family gossip (everyone’s favorite part) can emerge too and the opportunity to express feelings of love and gratitude (not lingering resentments).
The kitchen is the perfect place to create new memories to be passed on for generations to come. Preparing a favorite dish with a husband, growing child, parents or cousins also brings back old memories that spark those magical moments of family lore.
new and oLd traditions
The first Sunday in each month is a date that many Southerners are familiar with. It’s the day that communion is taken at many churches or it may be the day the children’s choir sings. Adding that special date to the meal planning can create new traditions. Revamping recipes sets the stage for strengthening old ones. Cooking is also the perfect outlet to teach those traditions to young family members.
The reason for the meal is to keep the family close. That’s the whole reason for Sunday soul food meal dates. Families may disagree, but cooking has created bonds and kept families strong for generations.
Aunt Sally may bring the potato salad. Cousin Mary may have the best baked chicken. Grandmother may have the tastiest seven-layer salad. And dad can likely grill better than anyone in the family. Cooking creates team-building and oftentimes can become a teaching tool.