Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama

Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama

Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama

Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama


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2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title
2017 Association for the Study of Food and Society Award, best edited collection.

The fifteen essays collected in Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop utilize a wide variety of methodological perspectives to explore African American food expressions from slavery up through the present. The volume offers fresh insights into a growing field beginning to reach maturity. The contributors demonstrate that throughout time black people have used food practices as a means of overtly resisting white oppression—through techniques like poison, theft, deception, and magic—or more subtly as a way of asserting humanity and ingenuity, revealing both cultural continuity and improvisational finesse. Collectively, the authors complicate generalizations that conflate African American food culture with southern-derived soul food and challenge the tenacious hold that stereotypical black cooks like Aunt Jemima and the depersonalized Mammy have on the American imagination. They survey the abundant but still understudied archives of black food history and establish an ongoing research agenda that should animate American food culture scholarship for years to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781557286796
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
Publication date: 08/01/2015
Series: Food and Foodways Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 295
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Jensen Wallach is an associate professor of history at the University of North Texas where she teaches African American history and United States food history. She is the author of How America Eats: A Social History of U.S. Food and Culture and the co-editor of American Appetites: A Documentary Reader.

Psyche Williams-Forson is the author of Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World and Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power.

Rebecca Sharpless is the author of Cooking in Other Women’s Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865–1960.

Table of Contents

Foreword Psyche Williams-Forson xi

Series Editors Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction xix

Part I Archives

Chapter 1 Foodways and Resistance: Cassava, Poison, and Natural Histories in the Early Americas Kelly Wisecup 3

Chapter 2 Native American Contributions to African American Foodways: Slavery, Colonialism, and Cuisine Robert A. Gilmer 17

Chapter 3 Black Women's Food Writing and the Archive of Black Women's History Marcia Chatelain 31

Chapter 4 A Date with a Dish: Revisiting Freda De Knight's African American Cuisine Katharina Vester 47

Chapter 5 What's the Difference between Soul Food and Southern Cooking? The Classification of Cookbooks in American Libraries Gretchen L. Hoffman 61

Part II Representations

Chapter 6 Creole Cuisine as Culinary Border Culture: Reading Recipes as Testimonies of Hybrid Identity and Cultural Heritage Christine Marks 79

Chapter 7 Feast of the Mau Mau: Christianity, Conjure, and the Origins of Soul Food Anthony J. Stanonis 93

Chapter 8 The Sassy Black Cook and the Return of the Magical Negress: Popular Representations of Black Women's Food Work Kimberly D. Nettles-Barcelón 107

Chapter 9 Mighty Matriarchs Kill It with a Skillet: Critically Reading Popular Representations of Black Womanhood and Food Jessica Kenyatta Walker 121

Chapter 10 Looking through Prism Optics: Toward an Understanding of Michelle Obama's Food Reform Lindsey R. Swindall 135

Part III Politics

Chapter 11 Theft, Food Labor, and Culinary Insurrection in the Virginia Plantation Yard Christopher Farrish 151

Chapter 12 Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Food Reform at the Tuskegee Institute Jennifer Jensen Wallach 165

Chapter 13 Domestic Restaurants, Foreign Tongues: Performing African and Eating American in the US Civil Rights Era Audrey Russek 181

Chapter 14 Freedom's Farms: Activism and Sustenance in Rural Mississippi Angela Jill Cooley 199

Chapter 15 After Forty Acres: Food Security, Urban Agriculture, and Black Food Citizenship Vivian N. Halloran 215

Afterword Rebecca Sharpless 229

Notes 235

Contributors 283

Index 287

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