From the Kitchen: On Martin Luther King Day

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Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, so, like many of you, we're taking the day off.

But we don't want to let the day go by as just one more welcome holiday, breaking up the rush of January busyness. I was struck by this article on honoring King's legacy:

"The first challenge in honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is to keep it real. I'm fortunate because some of my colleagues actually knew him as a young man and worked closely with him until his death. They tell me that King as a young man loved to have a good time. He loved soul food: red beans and rice, greens and ham hocks and pigs' feet."She continues with a quote from Dr. King that really moved me:

"I choose to identify with the underprivileged," King said. "I choose to identify with the poor. I choose to give my life for the hungry. I choose to give my life for those who have been left out of the sunlight of opportunity. I choose to live for those who find themselves seeing life as a long and desolate corridor with no exit sign. This is the way I'm going. If it means suffering a little bit, I'm going that way. If it means sacrificing, I'm going that way. If it means dying for them, I'm going that way, because I heard a voice saying, `Do something for others.'"

Hospitality of home and table is perhaps the most direct, personal avenue to "keeping it real," in the pursuit of friendship and peace with others. King's legacy continues to challenge us to extend hospitality to those who are different from us, to those who come from different backgrounds and cultures, to those who may think differently.

We want to find inspiration in that here at the Kitchen, and to find new ways, together with you, to identify with the poor, give to the hungry, and open our homes to the stranger.

Happy Martin Luther King Day, and happy cooking. See you tomorrow...

• Read "Letter From Birmingham Jail"

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