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'San Diego Cooks' Celebrates: Black History Month

Spice-Tossed Shrimp with Parmesan Grits
Spice-Tossed Shrimp with Parmesan Grits

Until recently, if you had asked me, I would have told you that the Civil Rights Movement of the ‘60s was something that was, more or less, relegated to the South. After all, I was pretty sure that the kind of segregation and discrimination that spurred the movement only ran rampant there.

But, then I met Dr. Carrol Waymon, a leader of the Civil Rights Movement, right here, in San Diego. He’s also a 2013 Local Hero honoree for Black History Month.

What a remarkable man. I had the privilege of meeting him when I interviewed him for this blog, not too long ago. Waymon is certainly one of San Diego’s trailblazers, having worked tirelessly to attain equality for all, right here in our city.


Frankly, it’s hard to imagine that just 40 or 50 years ago, San Diego was a place where segregation was the order of the day. Back then, an African-American couldn’t go into a local department store and try on a pair of slacks, nor check into a hotel. Buying a home in most areas was prohibited by restricted covenants. Schools were segregated too.

But, because of leaders like Waymon, these things are no longer true and we, who now call San Diego home, are all the richer for it. We can come and go as we please, dine at any restaurant without fear of reprisal, and be what we want to be.

This year’s Black History Month is nearly over, but I hope you’ll take a moment to think about what honoring the historic contributions made by African Americans is all about, and how people like Waymon and Professor Chuck Ambers, another Local Hero honoree, have impacted our city. Let’s take a moment to thank the local heroes among us, for without them, where would we be?

And, if you’re looking for a way to celebrate Black History Month with your family, look no further than your own kitchen. Here’s an easy recipe for Shrimp and Grits that looks mouth-watering delicious.