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Dethroning the Deceitful Pork Chop: Rethinking African American Foodways from Slavery to Obama (Food and Foodways) (Paperback)
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.
About the Author
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.
—Jessica Harris, author of High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
“Overall, the collection is a great contribution to our growing understanding, not only of African American foodways, but also of the social and political dynamics that have shaped, and still impact, the way we eat and think about our food in the US.”
—Fabio Parasecoli, Huffington Post
“By using African American food as a window on both culture and nature, these chapters advance the still developing subfield of African American environmental history. Even more, these essays and other materially oriented scholarship in ethnic food history can help US environment historians write accounts that better reflect American diversity.”
—H-Net (H-Environment) Reviews, February 2016
“Timely and illuminating, these essays set a new standard for food studies…. An exciting read.”
—CHOICE, June 2016