I don’t necessarily see food as being a part of a particular tradition. I see it as evolving and ever-changing. I see it as infused with politics and power dynamics...Food doesn’t necessarily make us feel warm and fuzzy.
Psyche Williams-Forson is the author of Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, and Power. She teaches in the women’s Studies and African American Studies departments at the University of Maryland. Born in Virginia, Williams-Forson uses food as a way to explore political, cultural, and social issues.
She has been awarded several fellowships, including a Ford Foundation Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship and a Lord Baltimore Research Fellowship. She is the curator of “Still Cookin’ by the Fireside,” an online text and photograph exhibition on the history of African American cookery, commissioned for the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum.
Date of interview: March 4, 2004Interviewer: Karen Cathey, SFA Founder