Unapologetically You

Rev. Fred Bennett, Mr. Isaac Farris, Sr., Mrs. Christine King Farris, Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, Dr. Roy C. Bell, Mrs. Clarice Wyatt Bell, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King; Pascal’s Restaurant, Hunter St., Atlanta, GA. ~1962 — Photo via Dr. Clarice Bell on Flickr

I am no longer doing anything uncomfortable to make others comfortable.

Yesterday, I turned 36, and you would think this is a lesson I’ve learned by now.

But Paschal’s restaurant was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It upset me for a number of reasons.

But first, a little history.

I chose Paschal’s because I heard about their fried chicken and soul food. Google also informed me that the area has a fantastic civil rights history, having served as the main gathering spot for movement leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, and others. It was founded in 1947 by two Black men, James and Robert Paschal.

I saw Dr. King’s and others’ images on the walls and was sold.

I didn’t look at any other spots after that. That was where I wanted to go. The prices were steep, but I didn’t care. I was told to pick out any place I wanted, and this is what I wanted.

Or so I thought.

The first red flag was the valet parking, which we paid for via cash app.

I frowned. Cash app? 

Now I’ve used cash app for many things, but a restaurant isn’t one of them.

But I didn’t want to be difficult so I said okay.

We walked in, and I felt like I was back in High School.

Call me bougie, but I was uncomfortable.

I am all for having a good time with my people, but this looked a lot different from the layout on the website.

I expected a fine dining experience with adults and a hint of black history and soul food.

And while the historical images were there, I got a room full of black people blasting Beyonce and standing around like they were at a club.

I was disappointed in what had become of the place. Although I’ve never been, I am sure it was a lot more refined when Dr. King ate here.

You can tell just by the picture above. See how they are carrying themselves? See the arrangement of the dishes? See the dignity?

The lack of decency and respect for our ancestors enough to take care of what they left us (because I am sure the Paschal’s would expect more) saddened me.

To make a long story short, we left.

It is not that I would never eat there. There is a time to kick back in that way. It is that I expect more. I expect more from my people just like I expect more from myself.

Take care of the legacy your ancestors leave behind.

Being Unapologetically Me

Thus, as my heart began to race and irritation blanked my face, I realized all the times I settled because I wanted others to be okay even if that meant I wasn’t. And I decided right then and there that I would no longer accept anything that made me uncomfortable just because I didn’t want to be “too much.”

am too much.

My standards are high, and from this point forward, I will walk unapologetically in this truth. 

I suppose the message here is, I hope you will too.

Be unapologetically YOU.

Movie Night Friday – Soul Food


Welcome back to another segment of Movie Night Friday. Where I present some of my favorite movies and why I love them.

Today I would like to discuss Soul Food, one of my favorite movies.


Soul Food is a movie about one family and their ability to stay a family through their willingness to endure all of the trial and tribulations that befall them. Told from the perspective of 11-year-old Ahmad, the Chicago family creates a bond around the Sunday “Soul Food” dinners they have every Sunday. Documented to have been coined in 1964 when blacks exercised self-awareness concerning themselves and “Soul” and “Black Power” got popular, there are a lot of misconceptions concerning Soul Food. The assumption is that the essential ingredient is pork and that deep-fat frying is its ultimate technique. It is assumed that the food must be dangerously unhealthy (I have to agree with Huey on the Boondocks. How they gonna go back to eating the same food that gave Big Mama diabetes tho) and is even mentioned in the movie that because we didn’t have anything else to eat in slavery we made meals of whatever we were given and that this is soul food. While it is true that blacks during slavery had little to nothing to eat, Soul Food got its name, not necessarily because of slavery, but because of how it brought black families and communities together which predates the institution of chattel slavery. African Americans have always been a communal people and food has always been an art form. Even if it wasn’t called Soul Food specifically, “Soul Food” is a tradition that go back for centuries.

I still remember when I watched this for the first time back in ’97 or ’98 and it was the ideal family I imagined we have all wanted and if we had, something that we have all cherished. However, it is always easy to be there for one another during the good times, but what about when tragedy strikes? Multiple tragedies?

Can the Joseph family endure the ultimate challenge of betrayal, hurt, and Big Mama’s failing health? Does a family, who is knit together seemingly through the strength of one person, have what it takes to stay once that person is gone?

As is obvious, this became my favorite because of the family bond and the unity of love they had for one another. I wouldn’t say that I watch it over and over again or anything, but it is a good throwback classic.

MV5BMTQ4MTQ3NDcyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjgwMzkyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR10,0,214,317_AL_ Soul Food was eventually spent off into a TV series.



Is Soul Food among one of your favs? Why do you love it?