In the wake of increasing environmental disasters, housing crises, and food insecurity, Black communities across the world raise new questions about the importance of equitable access to land, water, and food. Spanning a broad cross-section of age, ethnicity, faith, and nationality, Black liberation activism and thought, in this century, emphasizes renewed concern with equitable food systems through land stewardship and culinary practice. Revived attention to the foodways and practices of African descended people underscores the celebration of and return to farming practices and culinary traditions that sustain Black history and culture from one generation to the next. Collectively, Psyche Williams-Forson, Lolis E. Eric, Jessica B. Harris, and Edda L. Fields-Black remind us that food and foodways are vital elements of justice, equality, and community identity. Through their writing, research, teaching, and creative productions they highlight a powerful means of looking to our future by re-examining our past.
Lolis Eric Elie, New Orleans born, Los Angeles based writer and filmmaker. Author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country, Treme: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans, and co-author of Rodney Scott's World of BBQ. His television credits include work on “Bosch,” “The Chi,” "The Man in the High Castle," "Greenleaf" and the HBO series "Treme." Working with the award-winning director Dawn Logsdon, he co- produced and wrote the PBS documentary, Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans.
Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, specialist in the trans-national of West African rice farmers, peasant farmers in pre-colonial Upper Guinea Coast and enslaved laborers on rice plantations in the South Carolina and Georgia Lowcountry during the antebellum period. Author of Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora, forth coming book ‘Combee’: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and Black Freedom during the Civil War, and co-author of Rice: Global Networks and New Histories.
Dr. Jessica B. Harris, leading authority on the food of the African Diaspora, New York Times bestselling author, of twelve cookbooks documenting the foodways of the African Diaspora. Her award-winning book, High on the Hog, is the basis for the acclaimed Netflix series of the same name.
Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson, cultural historian, professor, and chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. Author of Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America, Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power, and co-editor of Taking Food Public: Redefining Food in a Changing World.