Black Hunger: Food and the Politics of U. S. Identity

Overview

Black Hunger looks at how the association of African American women wi th food has helped structure twentieth-century U.S. psychic, cultural, sociopolitical, and economic life. Taking as her main focus the debat es over the authenticity of soul food during the tumultuous era of the late 1960's and early 1970's, Doris Witt locates complex practices of black intraracial othering in relation to an ongoing narrative of whi te fascination with black culture.

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Black Hunger: Food and the Politics of U. S. Identity

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Overview

Black Hunger looks at how the association of African American women wi th food has helped structure twentieth-century U.S. psychic, cultural, sociopolitical, and economic life. Taking as her main focus the debat es over the authenticity of soul food during the tumultuous era of the late 1960's and early 1970's, Doris Witt locates complex practices of black intraracial othering in relation to an ongoing narrative of whi te fascination with black culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An intriguing, provocative work of psychoanalytic theory and literary criticism that seeks to reach beyond a specialized audience."—Choice

"Black Hunger shows the strengths of a cultural studies approach in analyzing critically taken for granted assumptions propagated in culturally dominant texts.... The originality of [Witt's] approach and the richness of her material will reward readers."—The Women's Review of Books

"Doris Witt's study breaks important ground in highlighting food as a site through which to explore the interplay of race, gender, class, and sexuality.... The critical and theoretical perspectives on which Witt primarily draws...prove to be highly effective and relevant.... Scholars who are interested in critical work on masculinities should definitely place this book on their readings list. In addition, Witt has made a most significant contribution to the critical discussions of food and gender advanced in recent times.... Black Hunger is compellingly argued, beautifully written, and fully engaging from beginning to end. Witt has given us nothing less than an intellectual feast."—American Literature

"A fascinating look at food's role in African-American culture."—Chicago Sun-Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195110623
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Race and American Culture Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Lexile: 1630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue 3
Pt. I Servant Problems
1 "Look Ma, the Real Aunt Jemima!": Consuming Identities under Capitalism 21
2 Biscuits Are Being Beaten: Craig Claiborne and the Epistemology of the Kitchen Dominatrix 54
Pt. II Soul Food and Black Masculinity
3 "Eating Chitterlings Is Like Going Slumming": Soul Food and Its Discontents 79
4 "Pork or Women": Purity and Danger in the Nation of Islam 102
5 Of Watermelon and Men: Dick Gregory's Cloacal Continuum 126
Pt. III Black Female Hunger
6 "My Kitchen Was the World": Vertamae Smart Grosvenor's Geechee Diaspora 155
7 "How Mama Started to Get Large": Eating Disorders, Fetal Rights, and Black Female Appetite 183
Epilogue 211
African American Cookbooks 217
Chronological Bibliography of Cookbooks by African Americans 221
Notes 229
Works Cited 253
Index 282
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