Afrofuturism was the topic of V. Sheree Williams’ first takeover of the Specialty Food Association’s Instagram live stream, earlier this month. Williams is the founder of The Global Food and Drink Initiative, editor-in-chief of Cuisine Noir magazine, and member of SFA’s Trendspotter Panel. She has been at the forefront of giving visibility and recognition to Black professionals across all facets of the food industry.
“Afrofuturism means acknowledging and honoring the past of our African ancestors while reclaiming and changing narratives that have been wrongfully provided about us by others as people of African descent and intersecting our narratives about culture, food, history, politics, etc. as we move into the future,” Williams told SFA News Daily. “It’s about how we see the future through various lenses: culinary, politics, tech, and more.”
In honor of Black History month, Williams hosted a discussion with key members and founders of Eat the Culture on February 15. ETC is known as a community and safe space for Black culinary professionals. Its mission is to provide resources to help its members’ businesses thrive as well as boost representation of the African Diaspora heritage in food media. Participants included:
- Geo Banks-Weston, creator of the food blog Geo’s Table
- Jazzmine Woodard, travel, lifestyle, food, and creator of the blog Dash of Jazz
- Britney Brown Chamberlain, food photographer and creator of Britney Breaks Bread
They took part in a Virtual Potluck featuring Banks-Weston’s Brown Stew Pineapple Chicken with Roasted Groundnuts, Woodard’s Warm Brewed Zobo Drink, and Chamberlain’s Chocolate Caramel Tart with Candied Peanuts.
Their discussion took a deep dive into Afrofuturism’s progress in the culinary world, with each describing the dishes they prepared. They emphasized that while everyone in the Black Diaspora does not share the same history, we can share and celebrate common elements and transform them into our cuisine together.
The takeover was the first of many by Williams that will take place throughout the year as part of her partnership with SFA.
“I see future IG takeovers as a way to continue amplifying Black voices in the food industry. Future plans include introducing more key players in this industry who are changing the face of it as well as how marketplace shelves look,” Williams said.
Image: James Knox