An in-depth look at Black food and the challenges it faces today
For Black Americans, the food system is broken. When it comes to nutrition, Black consumers experience an unjust and inequitable distribution of resources. Black Food Matters examines these issues through in-depth essays that analyze how Blackness is contested through food, differing ideas of what makes our sustenance “healthy,” and Black individuals’ own beliefs about what their cuisine should be.
Primarily written by nonwhite scholars, and framed through a focus on Black agency instead of deprivation, the essays here showcase Black communities fighting for the survival of their food culture. The book takes readers into the real world of Black sustenance, examining animal husbandry practices in South Carolina, the work done by the Black Panthers to ensure food equality, and Black women who are pioneering urban agriculture. These essays also explore individual and community values, the influence of history, and the ongoing struggle to meet needs and affirm Black life.
A comprehensive look at Black food culture and the various forms of violence that threaten the future of this cuisine, Black Food Matters centers Blackness in a field that has too often framed Black issues through a white-centric lens, offering new ways to think about access, privilege, equity, and justice.
Contributors: Adam Bledsoe, U of Minnesota; Billy Hall; Analena Hope Hassberg, California State Polytechnic U, Pomona; Yuson Jung, Wayne State U; Kimberly Kasper, Rhodes College; Tyler McCreary, Florida State U; Andrew Newman, Wayne State U; Gillian Richards-Greaves, Coastal Carolina U; Monica M. White, U of Wisconsin–Madison; Brian Williams, Mississippi State U; Judith Williams, Florida International U; Psyche Williams-Forson, U of Maryland, College Park; Willie J. Wright, Rutgers U.
Hanna Garth is assistant professor of anthropology at University of California, San Diego. She is author of Food in Cuba: The Pursuit of a Decent Meal.
Ashanté M. Reese is assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems at University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is author of Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C.
"Strongly recommend this volume as essential reading for courses in American Studies, Anthropology, Geography, African and African Diaspora Studies, Feminist Studies, and Food Studies and Systems, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels."—Current Anthropology
"Framed by a clear and well-documented introduction by the editors, the books contains 10 chapters written by scholars in the fields of geography, environmental studies, anthropology, ethnic and women’s studies, African and African diaspora studies, and American studies."—CHOICE
"A thought provoking and often mouthwatering discussion of food values that have endured in spite of the discontinuities that have persisted since slavery."—Ethnic and Racial Studies
"This innovative edited volume offers an incisive contribution that destabilizes dominant assumptions about the food justice movement."—Medical Anthropology Quarterly
"Mediating between the thread to Black food culture and a celebration of it, Black Food Matters centers Blackness in a field that has too often framed Black issues through a white-centric lens, offering new ways to think about access, privilege, equity, and justice."—Antipode
"Black Food Matters is here to teach us all how not to just ask the right questions but to stand alongside those who have always done so."—City Society
"Black Food Matters is an excellent read, illustrating the intersection between Black food studies, urban political economy, and equitable development. "—Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development