The first time I ate an oyster, I was newly out of college, at a mixer on Wall Street with mostly white professionals. I didn’t know how to eat one — having never been taught or seen someone do it — but I wanted to show that I was cultured.

I was taken back to that moment while watching Netflix’s newest documentary, High on the Hog. The show reveals that black folks were purveyors of oysters, helping elevate the mollusc’s status centuries ago — right there on Wall Street — to the high-class fare it is today. A lack of knowledge about this history had made me feel out of my element back in that youthful moment...

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