African American Seder Plate
Lots to do, more to come, enjoy!
Thanks to Ben Jankewicz and Queen Quet!
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Chicken Bone: In place of the zer’oa or lamb shankbone; represents traditional sacrifices and migration from oppression to opportunity during the Great Migration.
Charoset: traditionally fruit, nuts and wine, this is molasses and pecans representing the sugarcane that fueled the beginnings of slavery and the duality of our culture in exile. Though we were in bondage we found things here to help us cope and overcome.
Sweet Potato: in place of the karpas or spring vegetable, traditionally parsley or a potato. Symbolic of using the American environment to perpetuate West and Central African tradition.
Egg: or beitzah, symbol of overcoming oppression, the Supreme Being, spring and cycles of nature.
Collards: Maror, or bitter herbs, to symbolize both the bitterness of enslavement but also how we survived it.
Hot pepper: In place of horseradish or chazeret, a sharper variety of maror meant to give a sense of the sting of the lash. Also, a spice central to West and Central African foodways, proverbially associated with speaking the truth.
Hoecake or Ashcake: made of corn, the closest analogue to matzah, the flatbread of slavery and yet the first food in freedom. This corn cake simply prepared was the hardtack of enslavement in colonial and Antebellum America. (kitniyot is forbidden for strict Ashkenazi Jews, Matzah may be substituted.)
Orange: modern symbol for including those who are often excluded from the forefront of religious communities or spiritual practice, from women in leadership to sexual minorities to the poor or differently abled. The orange symbolizes the flavor and sweetness inclusion brings us all.