Documentary ‘Harlem On My Plate’ feeds the soul at Kennedy King College

Dean Chris Murray (Washburne Culinary), Melba Wilson of (Melba’s Restaurant), Tre’Ness Woods-Black (Sylvia’s), Chef Joseph JJ Johnson (The Cecil), Rochelle Brown (Powerhouse Productions), Alexander Smalls (The Cecil), Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad (Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture), Sonia Armstead (Powerhouse Productions) – Photo by Juan Anthony

Food is the great equalizer. It has a way of bringing people together while preserving and sharing culture. The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Citi presented a screening of Harlem On My Plate at Kennedy King College in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago.

Harlem on My Plate is a documentary written and directed and produced by Rochelle Brown and Sonia Armstead of Powerhouse Productions. The film celebrates the rich culture of African Americans through food from the time of the Great Migration of African Americans from the south to Harlem in the early 1900’s to the time of the Harlem Renaissance.

Harlem on My Plate features interviews of restaurant owners, politicians and chefs.

“I do believe Harlem is the mecca of Black culture in America. Wherever you travel around the world, people think about its music, people think about the arts, people think about the food, and people think about the swag as only Harlem can bring it. Anyplace around the world you say Harlem, it’s associated with us people of color, people that look like you and me. I think it has a lot to do with the foundation of Harlem and the fact that a lot of our ancestors migrated here from the South, in [search] of better jobs, making more money, and ultimately being able to provide more for their families. With that migration we brought our food, our recipes and our culture. That’s the fabric in the quilt of this mecca we call Harlem,” said Melba Wilson, owner of Melba’s Restaurant.

The Washburne Culinary & Hospitality Institute and French Pastry School located at Kennedy King College provided a vast array of appetizers and deserts for the event. Rochelle Trotter, widow of the late Charlie Trotter, moderated the panel of chefs and restaurant owners once the film concluded.

Please go to to find out more about the film

Take a look at a few pics from the event below.

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