Welcome back Ghanastronomists,

Long time no see!! I’m in the midst of midterms so it’s been a bit hectic (spring break is on it’s way tho!) I hope you’re all having a lovely week thus far and that you look forward to another wonderful week ahead! As we enter the new week, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite highlights worth mentioning from this past week!

Last Monday on March 6th, I had the pleasure of attending my first EVER event as the creator & author of @ghanastronomy 😊 The event, Launching a Food Enterprise: Learn from the Masters, was held on campus at the H.F. Deluca Forum in the Discovery Building.  came to life thanks to the collaborative effort of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery to Product (D2P).

Moderated by Alice Choi of HipFoodieMom a big-time, food-blogger that I look up to, the event was a successful combination of panelists, live pitches, and networking sessions. We were graced with the presence of hardworking food industry champs like Erica Gruen, the former CEO of the Food Network, Matt Howard, the co-founder of Eatstreet, and the President & Co-Founder of New Fruit Tree Company, Chad Anderson.

If you would like to see more on this event, watch the full video coverage below (see if you can spot me in the video😉)

Without a doubt, the Discovery Building is one of the many places on campus that I find myself at the most. Complete with palm trees, waterfalls, a cafe, a restaurant AND two world-class research institutes, it is quite easily my favorite building on campus. When I found out that they were hosting yet another exciting event, you know I had to be there! For the record, I left my day job early just to be in attendance.

On Wednesday, March 6th (which happens to be a very special Ghanaian holiday that I will highlight next), I was delighted to return to the H.F. Deluca Forum for a book talk by Dr. Monica White, a distinguished tenured professor of Environmental Justice in the Department of Community & Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (check out her website here). 

Her newly released book Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement offers a refreshing perspective on the continuous effort and struggle for freedom. Instead of adopting a repressive energy regarding the effects of slavery in America, as employed by existing scholarship, Dr. White urges us to think of her book as a love letter. By shifting to our perspective into one with love and light, we are able to think of agricultural resistance and other forms of resistance as an embodiment of disruptive, nondisruptive, and constructive social movement strategies. For example, during the middle passage, we carried seeds from the motherland in our hair and grew them on American soil. Our ancestors fought for our right to vote, and although we faced eviction, unemployment and displacement, we turned to communal spaces as a way to uplift one another. There is strength in community and self-reliance, and Dr. White emphasizes its importance through her research with Black farmers, i.e. freedom farmers, in movement spaces like the Detroit Black Community Food Service Network and other co-operatives.

The cover of Dr. Monica White’s newly released book Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement

Rather than focusing on the oppression,  White calls for our focus on the liberation. Without a doubt, there are structural and systematic pressures imposed on vulnerable communities that are expected to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. We mustn’t neglect these pressures, but at the same time, Dr. White highlights the value in both community agency and resilience. An effective approach she mentions involves the regenerative model in which the funds circle back into the community. Through a deeper connection with the land, food, and freedom, we are able to develop a relationship with the freedom farmers, while discarding the dangers of a single story.

It was definitely worth leaving my day job to attend such a meaningful and necessary talk. I am so inspired by Dr.Monica White & her scholarship and I commend her for building a platform to uplift the voices of her communities. 

As I mentioned before, March 6th also happens to be a Ghanaian holiday! We celebrate Ghana’s 62nd Independence Day, a very special day for Ghanaians all over the world.

As a native of Ghana living in the diaspora, I am overjoyed to celebrate the importance of this national holiday that changed the face of Ghana forever. Simply put, without my ancestors who fought for the Independence of Ghana, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s why we celebrate 62 years of independence. You can take the girl out of Ghana, but you will never take away the love for her homeland Ghana. Special shout-out to Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and the many other freedom fighters who dedicated their lives to the prosperity and growth of the nation in a time of transition. For those of you who may not know, Ghana was under the British imperialist rule until 1957, and was the first, that’s right the FIRST nation to gain independence from the whypipo, i.e. colonizers.

We will continue the legacy of our ancestors and freedom fighters by paying our homage and expressing our pride and joy. We will continue to celebrate our culture and accomplishments made thus far. Let us continue to fight for our motherland and celebrate Ghanaians both on the continent and in the diaspora. GOD BLESS OUR HOMELAND GHANA!

I was lucky enough to attend a Ghana Independence Day Celebration this past Saturday, March 9th, hosted by GhaMa (Ghana Association of Madison) at the Radisson Hotel.  Surrounded by my family and friends of the Ghanaian and African community, I really enjoyed the overall vibe and connecting with new people as well.  My role was to help out in the kids room and we had a blast to say the least! We were also lucky enough to have UW-Madison’s African Students Association Dance Team perform, and they definitely killed it! All in all, it was a great night complete with performances, storytelling, singing, food and dancing! We unfortunately were not able to have Ghanaian food at the event this time around (which really broke my heart, not gonna lie😢), but overall, t’was a wonderful night and my soul felt fulfilled!

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s African Students Association Dance Team. Follow them on Instagram @badgerasadance for more!
My family (missing my two older brothers). From left to right: Joe Brewoo (my dad), Lucy Brewoo (my mom) , Nana Kwesi Brewoo (younger brother, Jemima Brewoo (my aunt who’s visiting from Ghana!), Nana-Kofi Brewoo (my youngest brother), and me!
A proud big sister capturing her not-so-little brothers
My outfit for the evening: Kente headwrap from JoLuu Enterprise (my mom’s African Attire business), Kente fannyback (a gift from my Auntie Jemima), turtleneck from Topshop (UK), leather pants from H&M, bracelets from Ghana (gifted by my oldest brother). Not pictured: cheetah print booties from…I actually can’t remember,  but I love them dearly. Photo taken by Nana-Kofi

I hope you enjoyed reading this weekly event recap! Let me know what you think in the comments below! And don’t forget to share with anyone and everyone!! Your ongoing support means the world to me.  Have a wonderful rest of the week and stay tuned for some Spring-break coverage #Ghanastronomists!

Much Love,

      Maame Amma ❤

 




			

		

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