Editor's note: Anthony Umrani is a CNN Senior Photojournalist based in Washington, D.C. He previously wrote about the menu at the National Museum of the American Indian.
The sweet appeal of the Nation of Islam's bean pie
By Anthony Umrani, CNN
(CNN) -- February is Black History Month. February is also National Pie Month. What could one possibly have to do with the other, you might ask? Meet the bean pie - a sweet, delectable dessert made from navy beans.
The bean pie is a creation born out of the strict dietary code of the Nation of Islam, a religious black nationalist and social reform movement formed in the 1930s, led by Elijah Muhammad. In his book, "How To Eat To Live," Muhammad outlined a rather detailed and sometimes peculiar set of guidelines for eating, presumably designed to improve health and prolong life.
In accordance with Islamic law, pork was prohibited, but there was a list of other banned foods that could not be explained by any Islamic jurisprudence. Foods such as spinach, sweet potatoes and lima beans, which many nutritionists would agree are good healthy foods, were not allowed.