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Every Nation Has Its DishBlack Bodies and Black Food in Twentieth-Century America$
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Jennifer Jensen Wallach

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469645216

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469645216.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 25 September 2021

Regionalism, Social Class, and Elite Perceptions of Working-Class Foodways during the Era of the Great Migration

Regionalism, Social Class, and Elite Perceptions of Working-Class Foodways during the Era of the Great Migration

Chapter:
(p.97) 4 Regionalism, Social Class, and Elite Perceptions of Working-Class Foodways during the Era of the Great Migration
Source:
Every Nation Has Its Dish
Author(s):

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469645216.003.0005

This chapter explores the class tensions inherent in the middle-class project of reforming black food habits, demonstrating that working-class African Americans frequently did not share the certainty that foodways could be used as an avenue for citizenship and doubted many of the assumptions embedded in the project of cultural elevation subscribed to by black food reformers. One of the issues at the heart of the culinary tensions among members of the black community was the emerging question about whether there was a distinctive African American way of eating that was separate from mainstream American food culture. In the context of the Great Migration, “southern” food often became labeled “black” food in the northern cities that served as the terminus for black migrants. This transformation took place much to the consternation of black food reformers who, on the whole, resisted the idea of essential black cultural practices.

Keywords:   Great Migration, Class tensions, Southern food, Langston Hughes, Chicago, National Urban League, Brownie’s Book, Chicago Defender, Nannie Helen Burroughs, Neighborhood Union

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