Upcoming Event

Virtual Event: Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson

presents

Eating While Black:
Food Shaming and Race in America

in conversation with JOANNE HYPPOLITE

Date

Aug
18
Thursday
August 18, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.

Tickets

Free - $5 contribution suggested at registration

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes DR. PSYCHE WILLIAMS-FORSON—Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park—for a discussion of her new book Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America. She will be joined in conversation by JOANNE HYPPOLITE—Supervisory Museum Curator of the African Diaspora at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store

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 ordering a copy of Eating While Black on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.

Click here to join!

About Eating While Black

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.

Praise for Eating While Black

Unpacking the ugly history of racist stereotypes, exclusionary agricultural policies, and the cultural assumption that Black people's lives need monitoring, this is a book that celebrates the diversity of Black American food culture across the United States . . . Eating While Black is a thoughtful text with insights into how much unwelcome extra tension and "heaviness" lands on Black Americans' plates." —Foreword Reviews

From cooking lessons that urge "healthier" ways to prepare a pot of collard greens to policies that suggest Black people have the worst health records because of what they eat, in her latest examination of food and culture, Williams-Forson says such food shaming is anti-Black racism. Denigrating Blacks for enjoying foods that represent their cultural and spiritual roots deprives Black Americans their identity. Combining personal experience with insights from popular culture, Williams-Forson describes how even in their consumption of food, Black people are often perceived as transgressing, misbehaving, and in need of "gastronomic" surveillance." —Civil Eats

Everybody eats, so what's political about eating? After reading Eating While Black, the answer is clear: everything." —LIBER: A Feminist Review

Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson
Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson

Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson

Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson is the author of Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power and Eating While Black: Food Shaming and Race in America (forthcoming from UNC Press on August 16, 2022). She is Professor and Chair of the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park, whose work examines the lives of African Americans living in the United States from the late 19th century to the present. Williams-Forson's research explores the ways in which Black people (broadly defined) engage their material worlds, especially with food and food cultures as well as historical legacies of race and gender (mis)representation.

Photo Credit: Kevin Harris

Joanne Hyppolite
Joanne Hyppolite

Joanne Hyppolite

Joanne Hyppolite, Ph.D. is the Supervisory Museum Curator of the African Diaspora at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Her expertise and interests are in diasporic cultural expressions, including foodways. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she was the Chief Curator at HistoryMiami Museum for eight years. The exhibitions she has curated include Cultural Expressions, Black Crossroads: The African Diaspora in Miami, Haitian Community Arts, and Black Freedom in Florida. She is the current board president of the Museums Association of the Caribbean.

Join our online event (or pre-register) via the link in the event description.
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »