Into America

Food for the Soul

Episode Summary

This Thanksgiving, a look at the forces that shaped Black American cooking and one Mississippi farmer who is keeping traditions alive.

Episode Notes

Like the Blues and Jazz, the Black American culinary tradition is rooted in a specific kind of American experience. From one generation to the next, Black families have turned to traditional dishes to celebrate the holidays, to commiserate and even to mourn.

This holiday season, with COVID19 and hunger rising in tandem, too many Black families will be mourning rather than celebrating. Some will be relying on the kindness of strangers to fill their stomachs and their spirits, while others will turn to comfort foods that have gotten us through the worst of times.

In the latest episode of Into America, Trymaine Lee talks to culinary historian and author Michael Twitty about the forces that influenced Black American cooking and why food is a source of Black joy. Trymaine also talks to Cindy Ayers Elliott of Foot Print Farms in Jackson, Mississippi, about her mission: using traditional foodways to fill systemic gaps, feed the hungry and keep people healthy this Thanksgiving.

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