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Library Hosts Presentation Feb. 11 on African Roots of Southern Cooking

Part of Annual Black History Month Celebration

Enslaved Africans brought their food ways and special skills such as rice cultivation with them during their forced journey through the Middle Passage.

Dr. Martha Bireda will present the journey of African foods and food preparation to modern day at the Lake Wales Public Library in celebration of Black History Month.

The Lake Wales Public Library annually presents a Black History Month program. This year's will not only be informative, but also tasty.

Dr. Martha Bireda, Director of the Blanchard House Museum of African American History and Culture, in Charlotte County, will present The African Roots of Southern Cooking, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Lake Wales Public Library's Schoenoff Meeting Room. The program, The African Roots of Southern Cooking, is free and open to all. To RSVP call 678-4004, ext. 221.

In addition to Dr. Bireda's oversite of the Blanchard House Museum of African American History and Culture, she is also a historical reenactor, as well as the author of The Womb Rebellion (2017).

She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, her M.A. from the University of Michigan and Bachelor of Arts from Western Michigan University.

Dr. Bireda will discuss the journey of food traditions and food preparation and how it influences what Floridians eat today. Her presentation will include an interesting trivia exercise in which prizes of canned traditional southern food will be awarded. In addition, the program's sponsors will provide a tasting of soul food prepared by Carter's Barbecue & Soul Food, 907 North 2nd Street, Lake Wales. The program honoring Black History Month is sponsored by The Jahna Foundation and the Lake Wales Library Association.


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