(Bernie of Bejata recently added culinary training to his list of skills, so I wonder what he thought of the piece. I also thought about my younger brother, an excellent cook who's worked in an assistant capacity in a number of kitchens, but who has yet to finish his education, despite my and other family members' encouragement and support.)
The article ends on a positive note, however:
After graduating from Stanford, Beth Setrakian, 49, got her first job as a pastry chef in 1979 for Mark Miller at the Fourth Street Grill in Berkeley, Calif., where, she said, "I was definitely the only African-American in the kitchen." She opened her own business, Beth's Fine Desserts, in San Francisco in 1988; she said it now has annual sales of around $8 million.
"There are so many black cooks," she said, adding: "We're on the verge of change. And thank goodness, because the heritage that we bring is a great addition to American cuisine as a whole."
For those in Chicago, one of my brilliant colleagues will be speaking tomorrow evening, so please catch it if you can. E. Patrick Johnson is one of the co-editors, with Mae Henderson, of the new Black Queer Studies volume, and also has an essay in Frank Léon Roberts's and Marvin K. White's I'll Take Tomorrow (which I got the other day and highly recommend):
NU Prof. E. Patrick Johnson
(Dept. of Performance Studies, School of Communication)
Gays & Gospel
an evening of lively discussion and song
examining gay men’s contributions to church music
Prof. Johnson will be joined by Kent R. Brooks, Director of Music Ministries at the First Calvary Baptist Church of Durham, North Carolina
The event will take place at
The Chicago Temple
77 West Washington Street, in the Loop
(The Temple is located directly opposite the Daley Center and the Picasso sculpture; closest Red Line stop is Washington)
This Thursday, April 6th @ 6:30 P.M. Take the "EL" downtown for an evening of music and conversation! Reserve your tickets today!
Admission $10/$5 for students and Chicago History Museum members
For tickets, visit www.chicagohistory.org/reservations or call 312.642.4600.
Doug Ireland has yet another fascinating piece on the increasingly extremely anti-gay climate in Poland, where right-wing twin brothers, who were former child-actors, the Kaczynskis, hold the government's reins (Lech is the President of the country, while the other, Jaroslav, a legislator and powerbroker, is the leader of the largest parliamentary party, Law and Justice). Since gaining power in October 2005 elections, the Kaczynskis, in league with ultraconservative elements of the Roman Catholic Church and even more viciously anti-gay parties, have launched an all-out assault on LGBT people there, in contravention of the EU's human rights laws and protections. EU officials have called Poland to task, but the Kaczynskis and their allies are determined to turn the clock back socially and politically.
Among the recent crises that have befallen LGBTs in poland, the Warsaw City Council, controlled by the Kaczynskis' party, ordered the closing of Le Madame, a popular gay nightclub that has also served as an important Leftist cultural and political space, a theater and lecture hall, a center for the country's dissident public sphere. Le Madame is owned and run by Krystian Legierski (above right, photo from Direland), a Black Polish-born gay activist. When the police attempted to shut down the establishment on March 29, 2006, it found that over 200 people inside refused to leave, which led to a blockade and siege whose temporary end Legierski was able to negotiate, with the proviso that the City Council not shutter the club for 48 hours. Even American actor John Malkovich joined the press conference at Le Madame to argue for its continued existence. As Ireland reports above, on March 31, the police again raided the club and closed it for good. Two smaller Left parties in the City Council have called for an emergency meeting concerning the closing of the center, but for now, the Polish "Stonewall" remains closed.