JG: The Pepper Pot that we feature in the Northern states, which I think is pretty cool. The one that we’re actually featuring right now is a Guyanese-style -- we kind of followed the migration of Guyanese through the Northern states. I also think the Gospel Bird’s awesome. It’s like Sunday dinner. Mac & cheese, greens, fried chicken. The great thing about that is people be like, "Oh, it’s fried chicken," but for us, no -- it’s done very cleverly. Our fried chicken’s a three-day fried chicken. We do a salt-sugar brine for one day, and then we do a buttermilk brine the next day, then we dry it, and then we bread it and fry it, so that’s three days.
What are the next steps for the café?
CH: One of the things that we’re really excited about doing is working with local growers, so that we're getting local produce and everything. There are actual African-American farms in Beltsville and places, but it’s just about trying to figure out the volume for the museum. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Because any way that we can get African-Americans tied back to the museum, that’s always been the intention, to employ as many people and to make as many people feel a part of this experience as possible. This museum is definitely about the past, but it’s also about moving into the future.
JG: We change our menu four times a year. We’ll change our menu and focus on seasonal ingredients of the regions, so there will always be something new and exciting.
What do you hope the restaurant and museum will accomplish for the African-American community and the nation as a whole?
JG: Awareness, understanding, and showing the stories, helping people understand what it’s like to look through the eyes of an African-American in all aspects. Past history, present history, even sitting at this table and having a meal, we want you to see that. And that’s what I know this museum will show.
CH: I think it’s to tell our true story and to talk about the contributions that we have made, because for so long, people didn’t even know that there were African-Americans behind the scenes building this amazing and great country. So with all the things that you see in the news with the violence and the drugs and all this stuff, it’s like, that doesn’t depict African-Americans, that’s not the whole story, and I want people to see us in totality and to see who we are and what we are about, and not just the negatives. So I think a positive experience and view of African-Americans.
Admission to the museum is free, but timed passes are required for entry. They are available here.
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