Historiographical Essay

Linked to Africa: An Examination of the Current Historical Discourse on Enslaved Foodways in the United States

Abstract

In the late twentieth century, historical analysis adopted a cultural lens in understanding the African American experience. In more recent years, food has become a new method in examining African American culture. These new scholars examined how African American food habits are rooted in slavery and are linked to West African agricultural traditions. Two distinct schools of thought have emerged in understanding enslaved foodways in the United States. The first group of scholars adopted a scientific lens by exploring the nutritional impact of enslaved foodways on the Black body. The second wave of historians dissected the cultural meaning behind enslaved foodways. They collectively argued that food was used as a form of resistance in the formation of Black identity. This historiography examines the two approaches in studying enslaved foodways.

Keywords

Food, Cultivation, African American, Slave, Nutrion, and Culinary Culture

How to Cite

Ritt-Coulter, E., (2022) “Linked to Africa: An Examination of the Current Historical Discourse on Enslaved Foodways in the United States”, Essays in History 55(1), 1-12. doi: https://doi.org/10.25894/eih.180

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Authors

Edith Ritt-Coulter orcid logo (University of North Texas)

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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This article has been peer reviewed.

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