Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America

Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America

by Frederick Opie


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Frederick Douglass Opie deconstructs and compares the foodways of people of African descent throughout the Americas, interprets the health legacies of black culinary traditions, and explains the concept of soul itself, revealing soul food to be an amalgamation of West and Central African social and cultural influences as well as the adaptations blacks made to the conditions of slavery and freedom in the Americas.

Sampling from travel accounts, periodicals, government reports on food and diet, and interviews with more than thirty people born before 1945, Opie reconstructs an interrelated history of Moorish influence on the Iberian Peninsula, the African slave trade, slavery in the Americas, the emergence of Jim Crow, the Great Migration, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. His grassroots approach reveals the global origins of soul food, the forces that shaped its development, and the distinctive cultural collaborations that occurred among Africans, Asians, Europeans, and Americans throughout history. Opie shows how food can be an indicator of social position, a site of community building and cultural identity, and a juncture at which different cultural traditions can develop and impact the collective health of a community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231146395
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 06/09/2010
Series: Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 810,343
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Frederick Douglass Opie teaches history at Babson College. He is author of Black Labor Migration in Caribbean Guatemala, 1882-1923 and a blogger at www.frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com, where he conducts "Daily Musings on Culture, History, and Food with Related Recipes." He has appeared on the popular American Public Media show The Splendid Table and is a regular guest on Philadelphia National Public Radio's The Chef's Table.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Columbian Exchange
2. Adding to my Bread and Greens
3. Hog and Hominy
4. The Great Migration
5. The Beans and Greens of Necessity
6. Eating Jim Crow
7. The Chitlin Circuit
8. The Declining Influence of Soul Food
9. Food Rebels

What People are Saying About This

Mark Naison

What makes Frederick Douglass Opie's work so powerful and so important is that it transcends the essentialist concept of 'soul food' as rooted in timeless cultural attributes of people of African descent. Opie shows not only that African American traditions of cooking were constantly changing in response to contact with Europeans, American Indians, and immigrants from many different parts of the world, but also that as early as the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the agricultural and culinary traditions of African peoples were in flux as a result of global trading patterns.

Mark Naison, professor of African American studies and history and director of urban studies, Fordham University

Jeffrey Ogbar

Hog and Hominy is a wonderful walk through the culinary traditions of African Americans, providing a history of African Americans simultaneously.

Jeffrey Ogbar, director, Institute for African American Studies, University of Connecticut, and author of Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity

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