There are so many reasons that I want to go to Senegal. I feel a special connection to this place. I was excited about the play about Omar Ibn Said that hopefully will be performed at the 2021 Spoleto festival, after having been postponed this year.
I also say that I feel like it is in my destiny to visit the artist retreat, Black Rock that the world renown artist Kehinde Wiley founded last year. It would also give me a chance to revel in the food and art of the African Continent. I often say that I have three favorite world cuisines: my favorite is Ethiopian, the Second in Senegalese, and the third is Gullah food. However to me Gullah food and Senegalese food are close cousins.They are all African. From Jollof Rice, which literally gets its name from Senegalese people, to the different ways in which they infuse fish, vegetables, and rice together in many dishes. It reminds me of home. The following is a picture that I took at an Oyster Roast at the Penn Center High Heritage Days Festival.
What really sealed the food comparison between Gullah and Senegalese Food was the way that both prepare their oysters. I was really excited also to hear that Senegalese people from the Casamance Region cook oysters like we do in the Gullah Region ( or we have retained their practices!), over a bonfire and roasted in a shell and then they merely get a knife and eat it directly out of the shell. Senegalese Oyster Fishing.
2021 is the year that I go from South Carolina to Senegal. I know that Gil Scott Heron’s song is South Africa to South Carolina, but I am thinking about the reverse trip. Song here: Gil Scott Heron and Jackson, From South Africa to South Carolina