The newly published “For the Culture, It’s Personal + The Pandemic,” is a magazine dedicated to and created by the most accomplished and interesting Black women creators in the culinary arts today.
Filling a void in the industry, For The Culture magazine, in the words of founder Klancy Miller, is “a celebration of Black women and femmes in food in wine.” The newly launched crowdfunded publication focuses on showcasing Black culture in America and is written, photographed, and illustrated entirely by Black women.
On the Indiegogo page where Miller raised the funds to release the first issue, she writes that “in all my time reading my favorite food magazines I never saw many women who look like me. Over the past several years I’ve met numerous Black women chefs, restaurateurs, farmers, food stylists, writers, bloggers, bakers, sommeliers, bartenders, food activists, entrepreneurs (and the list goes on) and I want to create a publication and a community that centers our stories and perspectives.”
With more than 35 Black female contributors in the first issue, Miller has brought together some of the most accomplished and interesting creators in the culinary arts today. Contributors include Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen founder Zoe Adjonyoh on meditating on life in 2020, Chef Thérèse Nelson on her great love for her culture and its people, and herbalist Marisa Hall on dance and human connection in queer spaces. Dr. Jessica B. Harris, culinary historian and James Beard Foundation lifetime achievement award honoree, graces the cover of the inaugural issue.
“Black women really are at the root of kitchens and cuisines in this country from the very beginning,” Miller continues in her Indiegogo introduction. “There’s a lot of shaping of culture that Black women have done, and definitely through food. I feel like that continues to happen, but Black women’s stories aren’t centered. I want to see what it would look like if Black women tell these stories, photograph these stories, and illustrate these stories.”
Miller hopes to elevate the stories of the experience and expertise of these women in the home kitchen as well as the industry. By bringing attention to the huge impact this community has made, and continues to make, For The Culture is set to become as historically informative as it is culturally relevant.
It was also community that helped bring For The Culture to fruition. In 2019, Miller started thinking about ways to bring these stories together rather than waiting for someone else to do it. Like most other business ventures, it experienced delays in 2020. Miller’s approach had to be revised, though she explains that it also gave her room to figure out what she really wanted to accomplish. She recognized “moments in time like Leah Chase passing. Toni Morrison passing, and kind of feeling like, ‘Oh my gosh, there are these icons passing, but then they are also kind of icons in the making and I don’t know—something struck me about the importance of capturing moments and capturing voices while they’re doing vital work. And that quote from Toni Morrison, ‘If there’s a book you want to read, write it,’ right? So that was one part and then also, frankly speaking, feeling like if I don’t do this now, I might not do it.”
Miller used this as the impetus she needed to pull together some of the most talented women she knew and start on the project. In just over a year, a successful Indiegogo campaign and a massive online bake sale enabled Miller to crowdfund the first issue, which went on sale January 22, 2021. The premier issue’s theme, It’s Personal + The Pandemic, features articles that touch on a family reunion in Ethiopia, achievements of Black restaurateurs in New Orleans, and Black repast and grieving rituals.
Issue 1 of For the Culture, It’s Personal + The Pandemic, is available at For The Culture Mag for $25 (USD), paper edition only.