Virtual Event: Joseph Ewoodzie
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson:
Race, Class, and Food in the American South
in conversation with B. BRIAN FOSTER
October 7, 2021
7:00 PM ET
Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration
Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes JOSEPH EWOODZIE—associate professor of sociology at Davidson College and author of Break Beats in the Bronx: Rediscovering Hip-Hop’s Early Years—for a discussion of his latest book, Getting Something to Eat in Jackson: Race, Class, and Food in the American South. He will be joined in conversation by B. BRIAN FOSTER, co-editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and author of I Don't Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life.
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While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $5 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of Getting Something to Eat in Jackson on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson uses food—what people eat and how—to explore the interaction of race and class in the lives of African Americans in the contemporary urban South. Joseph Ewoodzie Jr. examines how “foodways”—food availability, choice, and consumption—vary greatly between classes of African Americans in Jackson, Mississippi, and how this reflects and shapes their very different experiences of a shared racial identity.
Ewoodzie spent more than a year following a group of socioeconomically diverse African Americans—from upper-middle-class patrons of the city’s fine-dining restaurants to men experiencing homelessness who must organize their days around the schedules of soup kitchens. Ewoodzie goes food shopping, cooks, and eats with a young mother living in poverty and a grandmother working two jobs. He works in a Black-owned BBQ restaurant, and he meets a man who decides to become a vegan for health reasons but who must drive across town to get tofu and quinoa. Ewoodzie also learns about how soul food is changing and why it is no longer a staple survival food. Throughout, he shows how food choices influence, and are influenced by, the racial and class identities of Black Jacksonians.
By tracing these contemporary African American foodways, Getting Something to Eat in Jackson offers new insights into the lives of Black Southerners and helps challenge the persistent homogenization of blackness in American life.
Praise for Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
“This evocative and insightful book reveals how everyday decisions about what and how to eat unite and divide us along lines of race, class, and culture. Ewoodzie documents the foodways of Black Mississippians across the economic spectrum, from homeless men and middle-class strivers to single mothers and a mayoral candidate. What emerges is a memorable and lucid account of life and struggle, food and family in the modern American South.” —Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
“So, so good. And important. Ewoodzie calls us to rethink the relationship between Black Southerners and the food traditions that they have developed and remade. Getting Something to Eat in Jackson gives us a rich glimpse of contemporary Black life, told from a place—Mississippi—that is vital to the story of who we are, where we have come from, and where we might go.” —B. Brian Foster, author of I Don’t Like the Blues: Race, Place, and the Backbeat of Black Life
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