Felecia Gaston - Grandmothers Feed Us Love (Corte Madera Store)

Felecia Gaston

Grandmothers Feed Us Love

Corte Madera Store

Sun., July 17 2022 • 4:00pm PT

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Corte Madera Store. Please contact webmaster@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.

As we celebrate the 80-Year Celebration of Marin City, this heritage book is dedicated to the legacy of eight generations of Marin City grandmothers, 80 years of age or older as of 2022. This 96 page book features 146 women with 26 grandmothers still living, 120 deceased and includes 49 recipes. This book is filled with cherished photos and their legacy of their generations.

Marin City, CA, is an unincorporated area located in Northern California, near San Francisco in the late 1980s. This area was founded in 1942 where there was a diversity of people from all over the United States, primarily the South who came to work in the Marinship yards during WWII. After the war was over, Black people remained in Marin City mainly due to systematic racial discrimination, redlining by real estate agents and other sociological injustices. However, there was no looking back, and these families' legacies remain to be valued, treasured and preserved throughout the generations.

I came to work in Marin City, in the late 1980s. Many of these grandmothers embraced me, nurtured me and fed me with their love, wisdom and good Southern soul food. As I reflect on my own life history growing up in the South, these women are my tradition. They live in me. They are the dynasty of Marin City. They are to be forever revered. They are the leaders in the family for several generations. They are the strength of our community.

I am so proud to be the curator of this heritage book. This is authentic to Black culture, because many of them prepared food as they know how to do, “a little this or a little that and tasting along the way, making do with what ingredients they had at hand.” 

In the Black family tradition, sharing a meal is about spices and special sauces, but also love, wisdom and family connections that stand the test of time. Grandmothers Feed Us Love™ is a reminder of the power of the human spirit to bring people together over a good meal. It also gives us a chance, as we do in various African traditions, to lift up our elders. Grandmothers Feed Us Love salutes and acknowledges eight generations of women who, with their food and love, raised an entire community. Without them, we would not have this great story to tell. These recipes are not static on the page. They invite the reader to try the various meals and add their own special flavor, thus continuing a labor of love through culinary cuisine that’s steeped in the rich Black traditions from the south. 

Grandmothers Feed Us Love is a part of the 80-Year Celebration of Marin City, which includes events, exhibits, and initiatives to lift up, preserve, and share with the world the history of this small Black community in Northern California. Grandmothers Feed Us Love is one of the initiatives of Marin City 80 and Performing Stars of Marin that establishes the Marin City Historical and Preservation Society. This book is dedicated to the grandmothers of Marin City, California. For more information, visit us at marincity80.com

Felecia Gaston has been working nonstop to enrich the lives of the residents of Marin City and put it on the map. Performing Stars, an enrichment program for children, which she founded in 1990, instills pride, character, discipline, and self-esteem in her students. The Center has transformed the lives of over 3,000 low income children over a period of 32 years. Her talk will discuss the creation, journey, and continued evolution of Performing Stars, which started with just 8 children attending a ballet class. Since then, the program has grown and expanded to include a variety of programs in dance, theater, baton twirling, digital and financial literacy, sailing class, field trips, incorporating social skills.


Felecia Gaston photo courtesy of the author


Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tama Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925