Jessica B. Harris - SFA Founder
I think part if the history of food in the South is undeniably connected to race…[I]t’s a part of the food of the South, and it’s a part of the SFA, and it’s a part of who we all are. And I think part of the wonderful thing, if you will, of the organization is [that] it’s an elephant under a rug, but everyone knows there’s an elephant under the rug. We just put a table on top of his back and eat.

Jessica B. Harris

Jessica B. Harris

Jessica B. Harris is the author of eight books documenting the foods and foodways of the African Diaspora. In addition to her cookbook, Beyond Gumbo: Creole Fusion Food from the Atlantic Rim, her previous works include The Africa CookbookThe Welcome TableSky Juice and Flying FishA Kwanzaa KeepsakeTasting Brazil, and Iron Pots & Wooden Spoons.

She has lectured on African American foodways at the Museum of Natural History in New York City, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and at numerous institutions and colleges throughout the United States and abroad. She teaches at Queens College in New York City and—hopefully—at the University of Mississippi.

In 2004, Harris was awarded the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award.

Date of interview: December 28, 2005Interviewer: Damian Mosley, Friend of SFA & Glory Foods Scholarship Winner