Yale University Library


Yale University Library News

Older Library News
News Feeds
February 23:African American Heritage Cooking

African American Heritage Cooking in the Post Soul Food World
Frank Mitchell
Consulting Historian and Curator, Amistad Center for Art & Culture
and the Wadsworth Atheneum

Monday, February 23, 4:00 p.m.
Sterling Memorial Library Lecture Hall, 128 Wall St.
Free and open to the public | Reception to follow

With George Tillman's 1997 film Soul Food the conversation around the standards of African American Heritage Cooking moved from a political and cultural discussion into a public health debate. In Tillman's drama three sisters in Chicago try to maintain the family's Sunday dinner tradition as their mother dies of diabetes, presumably related to soul food cooking. Soul food is again as controversial—now for health reasons— as it was forty years ago when cultural nationalist poet Amiri Baraka coined the phrase. African American Heritage Cuisine remains a beloved culinary tradition continuing to evolve in daily practice. It is also a fascinating historical symbol whose relevance is changing as a result of the whole foods revolution, popular culture, shopping habits, and neighborhood demographics. African American Food Culture, a volume in the Greenwood Press Food Culture in America series, presents the history and culture of African American Heritage Cooking along with examples of daily practice and the food's healthy potential. Though some storied neighborhood restaurants have closed and the food is critiqued in public health literature, African American Heritage Cooking is alive and adapting to current priorities of the food world.

This is the third and final lecture in the series marking Black History Month at Yale University Library. Join us afterwards for a reception catered by Mama Mary's Soul Food.

Generously co-sponsored by the Office of New Haven and State Affairs and the Yale University Library Diversity Council.