The generation who actually heard Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous speech, I Have a Dream, in 1963, were closer to the realities of slavery. They were the babies who bounced on their grandparents laps. Their grandparents were the babies of former slaves. Perhaps, after slavery, people should have been content with just living. Maybe the next generation should have been fine with living within a “separate but equal” culture of hate. I suppose my generation should be happy to pretend Affirmative Action isn’t needed, and the reality of living in at least the middle class is fading into a dream of the past. Luckily for us, each generation was never content as they continued to march for their rights over the foundation of their ancestor’s sacrifice. They were the brave who dared to dream.
In honor of my Great-Grandparents who crossed the Atlantic ocean towards an unknown land, those who worked the fields from sunrise to sunset, those who wandered the South looking for lost loved ones after the Emancipation Proclamation, those who took a chance to move away from what they knew to venture out west and own a ranch on acres of land, those who joined the military and returned to marching against segregation, the grandfathers who worked in Detroit’s car factories, and those who would become the first kids in the family to earn a college degree… to them, it would be easy for me to live in peace.
If I should currently live in peace, it would be dishonest to the realities of today. Yes, my grandparents experienced worse situations than me, but they didn’t fight for me to stop dreaming the impossible. Racism still lives today. I owe it to them to continue their fight.
My dreams are fewer and fewer as I become older. I live in the moment to survive and live in the past via my regrets. Dreaming is for the future, in which I can’t see. Imagination is for the kids.
Or, so I think.
When’s the last time you dared to dream?
I have a dream today that I dared to dream, again. Peace be to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose dreams are a common reality today. In 2013, we sit, laugh, cry, live and work together. That was one of many of his dreams. However, if we should continue to live naively in peace, it would be dishonest to the realities of the injustices today. Within Dr. King’s dream, we owe it to him to continue pushing his vision.
When Toni Tipton-Martin contributed a beautiful story to KwanzaaCulinarians.com about one of her projects, Peace Through Pie , I thought it was a great idea of bring people together to openly discuss Dr. King’s visions. With pie being mostly round and made of various ingredients, it’s a unique symbol of inclusiveness. Taking a variation of her idea, I asked few fellow food bloggers to create a pie recipe in honor of Dr. King’s holiday. My contribution is Rustic Ginger Almond Pear Pie.
Rustic pie recipes of folding the dough around the filling is one of the fastest desserts made in while. A mandoline was used to thinly slice pears. Almonds were toasted. Crystallized ginger was finely chopped. The filling took less than ten minutes. The dough took less than 30 minutes. The result was a simple and delicious pie.
I wish talking about racism would be easy as making pie. It’s not. When people of various backgrounds honestly and openly talk about racism, the conversation is likely to start with a clash of ideas and thoughts. However, the more honest people are about their opinions, the better the solution. It’s a grieving process. It’s about letting go of hate or negative energy. It’s about learning new ideas. It’s about accepting positive energy. The result is sweet as pie.
Happy Dr. Martin Luther King’s Day. My great-grandparents dare you to dream so your great-grand kids can live in peace and eat pie.
Adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.
Flaky Pie Crust Dough (see recipe below)
1/3 cup sliced almonds; toasted
2 to 3 pears; peeled, cored and thinly sliced (ideally sliced with a mandoline)