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Comfort FoodMeanings and Memories$
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Michael Owen Jones and Lucy M. Long

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781496810847

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2019

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496810847.001.0001

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“I Know You Got Soul”: Traditionalizing a Contested Cuisine

“I Know You Got Soul”: Traditionalizing a Contested Cuisine

Chapter:
(p.163) “I Know You Got Soul”: Traditionalizing a Contested Cuisine
Source:
Comfort Food
Author(s):

Sheila Bock

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496810847.003.0010

Soul food is a contested cuisine that is constructed as a source of both comfort and discomfort at individual and community levels. The first section offers a brief overview of how the marked traditionality of soul food among African Americans materialized in the middle decades of the twentieth century, and how soul food came to be infused with many different meanings, including racial pride, cultural achievement, survival, comfort, oppression, and danger. The second section identifies how African American cookbook authors reconceptualize the “traditional” nature of soul food as they present “healthful” recipes as tools of intervention in alarming community-wide health problems. Ultimately, by examining discourses of tradition in these cookbooks, this paper illuminates how African Americans are actively working to re-present, revise, and remix the connections among food, health, and community in the midst of a health crisis.

Keywords:   Health, Community, African American, Cookbooks, Soul food

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