As part of our evolving Christmas tradition at my mom’s, sister and brother in law’s house in MD, I make Black Panther Greens. This is a dish we used to vend in the 90’s in Pittsburgh at events like the Harambee Black Arts Festival when I worked for The Village 4 an Afrikan Cultural Center, an organization I helped to start and worked on coming out of Pitt’s Black Studies Dept with Kwame Ali, Bonnie Young Laing, Vanessa Liles, Erica Louison, Nzingha Uhuru, Ebony Lattimer, Darryl Wiley, Luqmon Salaam, Mary Martin, & MinNekHekh Thomas. In the spirit of reshaping this blog and in honor of upcoming Kwanzaas, New Year’s Day traditions and New Year’s resolutions, I thought a few folks might be interested in the recipe. This recipe belongs to another institution birthed in the 90’s (maybe late 80s?) Soul Vegetarian Restaurant of D.C.’s Georgia Ave. We added “Black Panthers” as Pitt Black Studies majors rescuing and restoring the Black Radical Tradition from the margins where both liberal and conservative political advocates are constantly trying to push it…and to brand the greens as being the bomb butter! As I am writing this it occurs to me that the colors of the tomatoes, eggplant, & greens, when put in the context of the Panther’s socialist critique of cultural nationalism and it’s Red, Black & Green flag as a bourgeois, avoidance agenda, adds a touch of irony to the dish’s name.
1 medium sized eggplant, diced
bunches of greens, shredded
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 good sized onion, cut into rings
4 cloves of garlic
A good amount of sea salt
A dash or two of cayenne pepper
4 pinches of beet sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 cups of water
In a pot, boil eggplant, greens, sea salt to taste, maybe 2-3 tsp, 7 or 8 turns of your black pepper shaker, and the sugar for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. In a separate pan, cook onions, tomatoes, garlic until onions are translucent and tomatoes are almost boiled down. Then add onions and tomatoes to the greens and cook for another 1/2 to an hour, depending on how you like your greens.
Ok, I know there are some food picture haters (TJ DaMilitant, I know you’re out there!), so hopefully the pics aren’t so bad as to gross you out, because this meal is a winner. For all you out there with weight loss resolutions, you may want to consider a vegan diet to give your system a jolt. I started out 2015 with my frat brother’s Chris Steel Edmunds’ health and exercise plan, combined with a January vegan diet, and lost 15 lbs in a month and managed to keep it off the whole year.
Yummy! Didn’t the panthers eventually embrace the RBG flag?
Formally? I don’t know of that. Maybe some chapters or members. The New Black Panther Party uses it, which makes me think its a way they distinguish themselves. We’ll have to ask Brother Khalid Raheem and see what he says.