Food, Community & Government

Food Blogging with Purpose

Michael W. Twitty

Lesson time 07:58 min

Showing how anyone can use their own purpose to find their voice, Michael breaks down his blog, “Afroculinaria,” and dives into reframing society’s perspective of African American cuisine.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Find Where You Fit • Afroculinaria • Amplifying Your Truth


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Lots of people want to know, how do you start a blog? What's your blog about? Why you have that blog. Every blog is a different story. When people write blogs about food, they're very formulaic, in many cases. You know, you do a recipe. There's pretty pictures. There's food porn. And people leer into your kitchen space, and they see, you know, the backsplash and the marble, or the granite countertops, or whatever you choose to do. I hear that granite's out and marble's in, but I ain't paying for no marble. MICHAEL TWITTY (VOICEOVER): The point is, you don't need to have a fancy kitchen or be a trained chef to write about food or work with food. All that matters is having a passion for sharing your experiences with the wider world. [MUSIC PLAYING] - So the first thing that I did was I took myself to the movie theater, and I saw a certain movie about a certain food blogger and her relationship with Julia Child. And I sat in that movie theater, and watching these two white women, I went, okay, I know the food world is full of white women, and I'm not a white woman. And I don't know how I'm going to fit into a world where I don't really see myself as a Black man, let alone a Black gay Jewish man from the South. And so I had to figure out a way to say, how does my story fit? How do I matter? Why do I matter? And after I was able to do that work for myself, I just started writing down my own food narratives. And I realized I already had this sort of experience interviewing people and talking to people, and I really had a passion for this ancestral wisdom. And so that was the first thing. Don't think of yourself as starting at that moment. Think of yourself as starting at the first time you sat down at the table and you had a transformative food experience. It doesn't have to be great. And that's important. This isn't about, you know, happy endings. This isn't about happy stories. It's about stories that move you, but more importantly, stories that move others. You want to be in a space where the words you put on paper move everybody. And when I say move, I mean make them angry, make them sad, and make them laugh, make them think. And the most important element to this is that you have to be willing to be wrong, to make mistakes, and to write terribly. You can't sit there and think, oh my God, I'm just going to write these words down, and it's going to be perfect and effortless. That's not how this works. [MUSIC PLAYING] People ask me about "Afroculinaria," and how did I start it? Why did I start it? I guess the reason why people start blogs, the reason why I started a blog, was because in our day and time, it's the most democratic way to get your voice out there. I mean, I come from a space where, if you wanted to talk about food in any sort of intellectual way, you had to be established in journalism, you had to be an academic. And when it came to talking about Black ...

About the Instructor

Through years of unearthing his African American heritage, bestselling author of The Cooking Gene Michael W. Twitty discovered undeniable ties between his ancestors’ past and his own palate. Now he’s teaching how you can get a taste of your family history through food. Explore the migrations that informed the ingredients in your kitchen—then re-create the dishes that helped shape who you are.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Michael W. Twitty

James Beard Award–winning author of The Cooking Gene teaches how to trace your culinary roots through the food your ancestors ate.

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