MLK Holiday is one I have cherished for years. Each January our family seeks to honor MLK Day in some way- reading a speech aloud, watching footage of Dr. King, baking a birthday goodie representing varying shades of skin tones, etc. We seek to somehow raise our awareness and honor the good work that he and all of the other freedom seekers have done through the years.
This year feels different. The conversations about racial justice have become more predominant in the public discourse (thankfully) and yet more politicized (tragically). In addition, my kids now see the reality of the work yet to be done more up-close. These conversations are messier and more sophisticated. They are more personal and poignant too.
I wish I had wide open space to read all that I want to read and listen to all I want to listen to about our history, our present and what is to be done for a better future. I seek to be an ally in my life and yet I oftentimes feel unsure of what and how and where to act, speak, and do. I know I am to listen, lament and bear witness. I continue to seek next steps of action.
I have listened to many podcasts this past year that have provided new perspective and things to consider. Some of my favorites are: this one with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Anti Racist, this one with by Resmaa Menakem about the embodiment of racial injustice in our nervous system, this one with Isabel Wilkerson about her most recent book Caste (I am still working my way through her previous book, The Warmth of Other Sons) and lots of episodes of Code Switch, to share a few.
I am trying to make my way through this stack. These books were written from a variety of perspectives (professor, historian, theologian, journalist, novelists, etc.) offering different viewpoints on race. I am thankful for these brilliant people. Would you like to join me in reading any of these? Let me know! I’m up for a virtual book club.
I am also thankful for my colleague and friend Dr. Sabrina Sullenberger and her blog, Teaching (Towards) Beloved, focused on teaching and working towards social justice. I will be using her post on Dr. King’s Sermon: The Drum Major’s Instinct, as the focus of our commemoration this MLK Holiday in our home.
For our goodies, this year, we are making Triple-Chip Chocolate Cookies from Two Peas & Their Pod Cookbook. I got this cookbook from my sister for Christmas. These cookies are brownie-dense with dark, milk and white chocolate chips. They are rich and delicious; easy to make and special to eat. We will serve them at our MLK remembrance, celebrating how good it is to have all colors in harmony- truly we are better together.
From Two Peas and Their Pod
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup Dutch-process or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. coarse salt
1 cup (1/2 pound, 2 sticks) unsalted butter- at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup milk chocolate chips, plus more for finishing
¾ cup white chocolate chips, plus more for finishing
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus more for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and both sugars. Mix until smooth, 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Use a spatula to stir in all the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoons (or using a cookie scoop) onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, until cookies are set but still soft in the center. Don’t over bake. Remove from oven. Gently press a few more chocolate chips into the top of the cookies and sprinkle with a little coarse salt. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet 3 to 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cook completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to one month.
Whether you are newly waking to the realities of our nation’s history and the current racial injustices or are decades in the fight, I welcome a conversation to learn from each other and pray and work towards unity and equity.