This New Harlem Exhibit Celebrates African American Food History

Updated: Mar 10


"African/American: Making the Nation's Table" at The Africa Center at 1280 Fifth Avenue in Harlem
"African/American: Making the Nation's Table" is on view at The Africa Center in Harlem.

A must-see new exhibit celebrating African American food history has just opened in Harlem.


"African/American: Making the Nation's Table," highlighting the contributions of Black farmers, chefs, and inventors over the last 400 years, is on view at The Africa Center at 1280 Fifth Avenue and 110th Street.


The Legacy Quilt at "African/American: Making the Nation's Table" on view at The Africa Center in Harlem
The Legacy Quilt features a long list of African American chefs, farmers and inventors.

A collaboration between the Museum of Food and Drink and The Africa Center, the show opened on Wednesday, February 23 and runs until Juneteenth (June 19).


A major highlight is The Legacy Quilt, an astounding 30-foot-long patchwork created by local organization Harlem Needle Arts that honors a long list of African American food legends—past and present—from Nancy Green, the first woman to portray Aunt Jemima, to famed New Orleans chef Leah Chase.


The Legacy Quilt at "African/American: Making the Nation's Table" on view at The Africa Center in Harlem
"The Legacy Quilt" by Harlem Needle Arts.

The main gallery takes a closer look at some of the faces in the quilt, including Nearest Green, the master distiller who helped create Jack Daniel's whiskey, and Alfred L. Cralle, the man who invented the one-hand ice cream scoop.


"African/American: Making the Nation's Table" on view at The Africa Center in Harlem
Alfred L. Cralle invented the modern ice cream scoop.

A time-bending walk through the psychedelic Ebony Test Kitchen, with its perfectly-preserved 1970s decor, leads to the exit where visitors can purchase boxed lunches by well-known African American chefs like Carla Hall.


The Ebony Test Kitchen at "African/American: Making the Nation's Table" on view at The Africa Center in Harlem
The perfectly-preserved 1970s Ebony Test Kitchen.

The exhibit is open from Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is $15, but a block of free tickets has been reserved for households in nine surrounding uptown zip codes.


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