Hello folks,

I'm an Australian writing a book about Soul Food - the history, and personal stories that connect African America with Soul Food.

My book aims to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of Soul Food - coming from the same place as the Blues.

I'm writing about traditional Soul Food and the contemporary version of vegan, organic soul food etc.

I've put my money where my mouth is and travelled through the USA for 3.5 weeks in August via self-funding. As you can imagine, that was not nearly enough time to meet and interview people, so I am doing follow-up phone interviews.

I want to speak with old folk and young folk and hear your stories. So far I have met incredible people - old skool, new skool.

I would love to hear from you - please PM me.

Warmest Regards, AWIA

<small>"Follow the grain in your own wood.” ~ Howard Thurman</small>
Original Post
Originally Posted by FireFly:

Hello folks,

I'm an Australian writing a book about Soul Food - the history, and personal stories that connect African America with Soul Food.

My book aims to celebrate the ingenuity and creativity of Soul Food - coming from the same place as the Blues.

I'm writing about traditional Soul Food and the contemporary version of vegan, organic soul food etc.

I've put my money where my mouth is and travelled through the USA for 3.5 weeks in August via self-funding. As you can imagine, that was not nearly enough time to meet and interview people, so I am doing follow-up phone interviews.

I want to speak with old folk and young folk and hear your stories. So far I have met incredible people - old skool, new skool.

I would love to hear from you - please PM me.

Warmest Regards, AWIA

I appreciate you finding this and posting it Raptor - and with it perhaps your opinon on Soul Food?
I see Soul Food as a potent symbol of ingenuity, creativity and community - as well as survival - of people under unimaginable suffering.

Over the years, those who cooked Soul Food from fresh produce out of their own gardens eat better than the average American - or Australian - does today.

What my book aims to do is celebrate the Africans chosen because of their skills as artisans, architects etc who brought with them these skills and cooking styles to build America. That ingenuity to cook with unfamiliar and cast-off ingredients and create tasty and sustaining food. That ingenuity kept Africans in America alive.

Soul Food replaced by McDonalds and curly fries is not a step forward. Reaching back to African agricultural traditions and diets is.

I would like to include a range of views on soul food - for and against. If you would like to be interviewed about why you reject or dislike soul food from your personal perspective in an erudite way - please let me know.

My book is driven by people's stories - and the importance of trying to keep some of the older folks' stories, traditional cooking styles and agricultural knowledge alive.

As food becomes a speculative commodity and now a weapon against food justice I think it's important.

I'd welcome your views.

Firefly, this is not an attempt to help you, but since black people continue to buy this garbage about soul food I will allow them to remain just ignorant. go to frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com Our food is NOT slave food and many of our dishes are African in origins. Many of our southern migrated people decided to eat out at KFC, Popeye's and Church's Chicken every night instead of the once a week, Sunday evening that was the traditional time to eat a big meal. While Monday through Saturday was reserved for eating mainly vegetable dishes. Its not the food that's bad it's the attitude towards the food. I digress. Best of luck on your book.

My favorite vegetables are green beans, Okra (with almost anything), squash, onion, beans (lima, butter) and almost any type of pea except sweet peas oh and greens are definitely a traditional West African/African American dish. I also grew up eating rice 3 times a week or more. American Yams (Sweet Potatoes yellow and orange). Another good one is Hoppin' John which is still made in the U.S. and in Ghana today.


I wonder how many African American women 70+ feel the same way. It is their reality and creativity - and perhaps myth - that I'm honoring, while also including contemporary discussion on what soul food is and how it's evolved (be it vegan etc), what the term means to individuals, and whether it's relevant today, and if it's heritage is important to African America today and why - or why not. I find the community is split one way or the other.

I'm reading Frederick Douglass Opie already. African food was not slave food, but the requirement to fuse African cooking styles with ingredients available to slaves in the Americas during slavery became so called 'slave food'. That food evolved, changed over time due to circumstance and geography. All food adapts to culture, ritual, and regional foods available. I aim to include the history as well as what has morphed into 'contemporary soul food'.

Food is much more than survival. It's community, culture, ritual, nurture, sharing and so much more. The book isn't a non-fiction tome, but about people.

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