A Taste of History

Food memories are powerful. The combination of taste, smell and emotions can bring up the oldest of memories. That’s what Vince Leggett, founder of the Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation, hopes to recreate at his event Cooking on the Chesapeake later this month.

Instead of just listening to stories, Leggett invites you to learn about the lives of African Americans who lived and worked along the Bay during the time of segregation by tasting the food they poured their hearts into.

You will hear about the lives of cooks, chefs and caterers who prepared food and fed hungry beachgoers at Carr’s and Sparrow’s beaches, leading vacation spots that catered exclusively to African Americans.

“Shared also will be accounts and memories about famous beach venues owned and operated by Elizabeth Carr Smith (Carr’s Beach) and her sister Florence Carr Sparrow (Sparrows Beach) during the 1930s-1970s with a focus on music, entertainment and leisure during times of segregation,” says Lyndra Marshall, project director of The Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beach Heritage Preservation Project.

    Following Leggett’s presentation, guests will engage in table discussions about food sold at local restaurants and lounges and what a picnic at the beach would’ve entailed. This interactive event will be videotaped, so sharing of your own family history and recipes is encouraged.

    The Galesville Community Center Organization serves up fish, chicken and oysters, much as it was during the heydey of the beaches.

Cooking on the Chesapeake: The Carr’s and Sparrow’s Beach Heritage Preservation Project is February 29 at 3pm (doors open at 2 pm), Galesville Community Center. RSVPs are appreciated but not required: [email protected].