Sandburg Middle School Students Receive Sweet Black History Lesson

5:00 PM | Friday, February 16, 2024

Robbinsdale Area School District students received a Black history lesson on Friday — and it came in the form of a sweet dessert.

Kitchen staff in the district served lunch with a slice of sweet potato pie on Feb. 16.

They baked the pies using a recipe from Golden Valley resident Rose McGee.

She’s the founder of the nonprofit Sweet Potato Comfort Pie.

“I consider the sweet potato pie as being the sacred dessert of Black culture,” McGee told CCX News. “When you about the origin of foods that are in Black culture … usually, it has something to do with that which wasn’t considered as being the crème de la crème of whatever the crop was or the animal was. And the sweet potato was a cheap way to grow food, it was root… and when you can take that and turn it into something that turns out to be delicious, it has its own place in history.”

Kitchen staff in the Robbinsdale Area School District served lunch with a slice of sweet potato pie on Feb. 16.

Expanding Horizons

McGee says serving a dessert with longstanding ties to Black culture to a new audience can help expand their horizons. 

“I’m just hoping the kids will go, hmmm — for those who have never had it before — I would like to know more about this dessert,” McGee said. “And for those who have had it, I know some of them will go, well this don’t taste like my grandmama’s. And that’s OK too.”

McGee’s recipe is based on one originally developed by her grandmother. But, McGee says she has tweaked it based on other recipes she’s tried across the country. 

Meanwhile, students at Sandberg Middle School were visited by Golden Valley Mayor Roslyn Harmon. She’s the city’s first Black mayor and McGee’s daughter.

The district prepared about 8,700 servings of pie for students at 17 different schools this week.

Golden Valley

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