An African American Tea Ceremony

Tea Time by Shanequa Gay

The Widow’s Pantry is in the planning stages of hosting a fundraiser to heighten our introduction to life skill sessions for our clients. We want to provide items of necessities while engaging our clients to participate in life skills and information resource sessions.

We were scheduled to host an African American Tea Ceremony fundraiser on Saturday May 16, 2020, at the Silver Spring Civic Center. The event is postponed due to COVID-19. This event is rescheduled for Sunday, February 28, 2021.

Why an African American Tea Ceremony?  We thought it would be educational and entertaining while using the event to help a worthwhile cause and bring awareness to the needs of homelessness.

Please take a moment to read about tea ceremonies in African American history below.

The sophisticated rituals of modern-day tea drinking were introduced by the Ming Dynasty in China and later adopted by the 17th century English court. From Thomas Twining’s’ first dry tea and coffee shops in London to contemporary urban tea rooms. Tea has an allure that persists today with connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike. Tea parties offer unique group experiences. 

The first mention of slave tea ceremonies originates from New Orleans. Many slave masters would give their old, broken china to their favored slaves. The hostess of the ceremony would send the man of the house out to borrow teacups and mugs from her neighbors.

There is a theory the African American Tea Ceremony was started by house slaves during the final decades before Emancipation. Because the slaves were serving their masters’ on Valentine’s Day they used February 15th to be their day of celebration when work was lighter and there were plenty of leftovers. The house slaves initiated a tradition around the day of rest.

Tea parties offer unique group experiences, whether you’re hosting a birthday celebration or a personal gathering. We are excited about preparing for this event and hope we can count on you to support a great cause. Please stay tuned for future details and ticket purchases for this event. 

You may be asked to bring your favorite teacup! 

Article submitted by Valerie Davis


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