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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: 18 September 2021

The Civil Rights Movement and the Ascendency of the Idea of a Racial Style of Eating

The Civil Rights Movement and the Ascendency of the Idea of a Racial Style of Eating

(p.145) 6 The Civil Rights Movement and the Ascendency of the Idea of a Racial Style of Eating
Every Nation Has Its Dish

Jennifer Jensen Wallach

University of North Carolina Press

The chapter begins with an examination of the symbolic significance of the sit-ins at restaurants and lunch counters throughout the South as black protesters asserted their right to eat iconic American food items like hamburgers and to drink the symbolic beverage of Coca-Cola on equal terms with their fellow citizens. At the same time that many demonstrators became disillusioned with the only partially fulfilled promises of the civil rights movement, the alternative concept of a black national culinary identity emerged in the form of “soul food.” Southern food practices were rebranded as an essential black culinary production, and eating dishes like collard greens and chitterlings become a means of expressing fidelity to the idea of a stateless black nation.

Keywords:   Civil rights movement, Soul food, Southern food, Coca-cola, Hamburgers, Freda DeKnight, Cookbooks, Eric Hobsbawm, Edna Lewis, Racial essentialism

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