Sweet Potato Pie Recipe

Recipe for SPP that has been passed down
Recipe for SPP that has been passed down

 The object that I chose to do my Object Assignment on is my maternal grandmother’s sweet potato pie recipe. This is a document that has been in my family’s possession for several decades. The recipe that my family uses every Thanksgiving and Christmas is one that has been passed down for several generations, on my mother’s side of the family. Her family has African-American and Native American roots that originate from North Carolina. This recipe was passed down through oral tradition. The first and only person on mother’s side of the family that decided to write down the recipe and the corresponding directions was my grandmother, Burnett Brown. She wrote the recipe down before my mother was born. The actual paper that my grandmother wrote looks very worn and my mother has sought to preserve it, through lamination. My grandmother, in the 1950s, migrated from Clinton, North Carolina, to Harlem, New York, to find economic opportunity, like many other African-Americans of the time. This is a recipe that my grandmother taught my mother, and my mother taught my sister and I. On February 3rd, 2003, my grandmother passed away from an aortic aneurysm. Her sweet potato pie recipe reminds me of her and her love.  Most importantly, it reminds me of how many of the foods that were staples of Southern and African American cuisine made it to the North and are still made to this day is truly extraordinary. It is a symbol of resilience, perseverance, and the endurance of my grandmother and of African-American culture. 

Place(s): Clinton, North Carolina, and Harlem, New York

– Justin A. Westbrook-Lowery

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant