Local restaurant in Harrisonburg adds dishes featuring prominent Black women from the community in celebration of Black History Month

For Black History Month, Magpie Diner has served dishes featuring four Black Harrisonburg women in the community. Owner Kirsten Moore says “So we wanted to do something that sort of also resonated with our brand at Magpie, and we’re really about community and telling stories and gathering people together and we thought, what a great way to celebrate Black History Month is to tell other people’s stories.”

The celebration kicked off with Mayor Deanna Reed’s favorite breakfast: turkey hash with fried apples and fried potatoes. “So mine was a breakfast that we would always have as a family and was always our staple breakfast when we had special occasions, Christmas and it was just a family tradition.”

Mayor Reed was followed by the founder of the Northeast Neighborhood Association, Karen Thomas. Her dish was beef stew with cornbread. “I chose this dish because it brings back fond memories when family would come together and about their day and have good times.”

Next, former Harrisonburg-Rockingham NAACP president, Esther Nizer’s favorite birthday dessert was featured: pineapple upside-down cake. “It was my birthday cake...my mom made it in a cast-iron skillet and eventually she got a smaller one that she could make individuals.”

Finally, Harrisonburg’s first Black city social worker, Ms. Wilhelmina Johnson’s favorite dish, fried oysters, was featured. Each of these women were excited to be featured by the restaurant. They even got to taste their dishes to make sure they were just right.

The event’s final day was this afternoon. A sweet ending to a historic month. Reporting for BreezeTV, I’m Gillian Saunders.