Rachel and I started 2017 with a grand evening of friends, fellowship, and fun at the first annual “Peas & Greens” gathering at Chris and Cathy Crawford’s home. We invited some of our newest friends to celebrate the New Year in Southern style on Sunday, January 1 with a traditional meal of black-eyed peas and greens.
Many people think people in the South and Black people throughout the United States eat black-eyed peas and greens for good luck and corn bread because it represents gold. History tells a different story. In 1864 General Sherman was marching through the South and destroyed all of the food on the plantations. The soldiers thought they left the people without food to eat, but they did not count on the ingenuity of the people. Black-eyed peas were grown to feed livestock and not cultivated for food for the people. Today, black-eyed peas, a West African foodstuff, remain a staple soul food dish throughout the United States. We celebrate New Years by eating “peas & greens” to remind us of our good fortunes found in America through our successes in entrepreneurship, education, and spirituality, to name a few.
About a dozen children played gathered upstairs to challenge each other in Play Station, games of tag, and lightsaber battles. Downstairs 20 adults dined on Southern cuisine, homemade desserts, sweet tea. To our amazement, everyone in attendance migrated to Charlotte from nearly every section of America. It was inspiring to hear people discussing potential business ventures, explaining their current innovations, and making new friends. Things got heated when the men played the women in a round of Taboo. The evening turned from a relaxing night of celebration to a night of shameless competition between the genders. Guests started arriving at 4:00 p.m. and the last guests departed around 11:00 p.m.
Next year, the Empowered Living Church will hold our 2nd Peas & Greens in Charlotte. We hope you will join us as we usher the next New Year end together. Follow the EmpoweredLiving.Church movement by connecting with us on Facebook at Facebook.com/EmpoweredLivingChurch.
Special thanks to Bern Bean for the group picture.