Black American women have long sustained a complex relationship to food—its production, consumption, and distribution within families, communities, and the nation. Black women, often represented in American culture as “natural” good cooks on the one hand and beset by obesity on the other, straddle an uncomfortable divide that is at the heart of contemporary debate about the nature of our food system. Yet, Black women as authorities in the kitchen and elsewhere in matters of food—culturally, politically, and socially—are largely absent, made invisible by the continued salience of intersecting vectors of disempowerment: race/gender/class/sexuality. In this dialogue, we bring together a variety of agents, approaches, explorations, and examples of the spaces where Black American women have asserted their “food voices” in ways that challenge fundamentally the status quo (both progressive and conservative) and utilize the dominant discourses to create spaces of dissent and strategic acquiescence to the logics of capital ever-present in our food systems.

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