Eating While Black


by Psyche A. Williams-Forson

Eating should be easy, but it’s not

Psyche A. Williams-Forson is one of our leading thinkers about food in America. In Eating While Black, she offers her knowledge and experience to illuminate how anti-Black racism operates in the practice and culture of eating. She shows how mass media, nutrition science, economics, and public policy drive entrenched opinions among both Black and non-Black Americans about what is healthful and right to eat. Distorted views of how and what Black people eat are pervasive, bolstering the belief that they must be corrected and regulated. What is at stake is nothing less than whether Americans can learn to embrace nonracist understandings and practices in relation to food.

Sustainable culture—what keeps a community alive and thriving—is essential to Black peoples’ fight for access and equity, and food is central to this fight. Starkly exposing the rampant shaming and policing around how Black people eat, Williams-Forson contemplates food’s role in cultural transmission, belonging, homemaking, and survival. Black people’s relationships to food have historically been connected to extreme forms of control and scarcity—as well as to stunning creativity and ingenuity. In advancing dialogue about eating and race, this book urges us to think and talk about food in new ways in order to improve American society on both personal and structural levels.

* Eating While Black makes a unique and passionate case for fighting anti-Black racism through the lens of food—this is an emotional book about health of all kinds for all Americans.
* Author is one of the most highly respected thinkers about race and food of our era.
* This book relates directly to and will be promoted along with the major themes raised in Netflix’s hit series, High on the Hog.
* Readers from diverse spheres, including activists, chefs, and cultural observers, are anticipating this book and author’s promotion of it.

Hardcover | 264 pages | The University of North Carolina Press | 2022

Psyche A. Williams-Forson, the author of Building Houses out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power, is professor of American studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

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