Authors: Dexter Weaver with Patrick Allen
Publisher: Hill Street Press
Format: Book (Hardcover)
Category: African American / Cookbook
Listen to a conversation with Dexter Weaver on National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition” from Saturday, March 18, 2000.
The title for R.E.M.’s 1993 album, Automatic for the People didn’t come from thin air, but rather from the popular saying of one of Athens, Georgia’s most beloved soul food restaurateurs – Dexter Weaver (known as Weaver D.)
Raised in Athens, Georgia and Baltimore, Dexter took his illustrious name - Weaver D - when his teacher asked for his “last name first, first name last.” The quintessential teacher’s pet, his family was poor but full of love and his first memories were of food and cooking, which he loves to this day. Always watching, listening, and learning.
He learned about the heartbreak of otherwise good men who lost everything gambling and had to face their families; saw his neighborhood burn during the ‘60s race riots as soul music pumped from nearby juke joints. He instinctively became an entrepreneur (first selling seeds and lightbulbs, then giving 35 cent shoe shines). He also discovered the power of positive thinking (“There’s no room for ‘can’t’ in this world” and “Always be the victor, not the victim,” he says). Foremost, however, he learned the power of music from gospel deejays, disco divas, and southern indie rock bands.
“Automatic for the People” joins “Come Out of that Coma” as Weaver D’s signature phrases known around the world, not only inspiring hometown, indie rock legends R.E.M., but also with computer advertising campaigns, on bagged peanuts, and preached from revival tent pulpits. The wisdom of Weaver D is a medley of inspirational lyrics with the power to keep you going: “How I got over: some times up, sometimes down”; “It's my turn to reach and touch the sky . . . no one’s going to say I didn’t try”; “I’m coming out”; and, of course, the old school classic, “I will survive.” Once a Holiness evangelist, today Weaver D “ministers to the people through his food.”
In Automatic Y’allwe have Weaver D’s guide to the “soul,” his advice about working hard, his love for his mama, his guide to small business success, and his rollicking memories of the Athens southern college rock music scene, as well as a melt-in-your-mouth collection of his long sought-after and never-before-published soul food recipes. “Automatic!”
192 pages with 14 photographs and 50 recipes.