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Download or Read The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of

Download or Read The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of

Read online or Download The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (Full PDF ebook with essay, research paper)
by Toni Tipton-Martin

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University of Texas Press
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9.40(w) x 11.30(h) x 1.20(d)



Winner, BCALA Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation, Black Caucus of the American Library Association, 2016

Women of African descent have contributed to America’s food culture for centuries, but their rich and varied involvement is still overshadowed by the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate “Aunt Jemima” who cooked mostly by natural instinct. To discover the true role of black women in the creation of American, and especially southern, cuisine, Toni Tipton-Martin has spent years amassing one of the world’s largest private collections of cookbooks published by African American authors, looking for evidence of their impact on American food, families, and communities and for ways we might use that knowledge to inspire community wellness of every kind.

The Jemima Code presents more than 150 black cookbooks that range from a rare 1827 house servant’s manual, the first book published by an African American in the trade, to modern classics by authors such as Edna Lewis and Vertamae Grosvenor. The books are arranged chronologically and illustrated with photos of their covers; many also display selected interior pages, including recipes. Tipton-Martin provides notes on the authors and their contributions and the significance of each book, while her chapter introductions summarize the cultural history reflected in the books that follow. These cookbooks offer firsthand evidence that African Americans cooked creative masterpieces from meager provisions, educated young chefs, operated food businesses, and nourished the African American community through the long struggle for human rights. The Jemima Code transforms America’s most maligned kitchen servant into an inspirational and powerful model of culinary wisdom and cultural authority.


Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Alexander Smalls
A scholarly yet accessible survey of African-American cookbooks, The Jemima Code…brings into view an array of individuals as they produced intellectual capital they were unable to own or to profit from. Despite having no rights or voice, they persevered for generations. But while that harsh reality could be overwhelming, Tipton-Martin doesn't let us live in the dark side of this story. Instead, she demonstrates the power of the human spirit and the accomplishments of proud African-Americans who found ways to be seen and heard through their talents as great American cooks…Tipton-Martin collects all this lore with care and dedication. The men and women found in these pages are the real heroes and heroines of American cooking. The Jemima Code is no ordinary book. It's a heaping helping, a long overdue acknowledgment of African-Americans who have toiled in this field since the country's beginnings. With eloquence and urgency, Tipton-Martin makes the case that without the people of the African diaspora not only would America's food be different, so would its culinary conversation.

Related Subjects

  • ">African American Cooking
  • ">African American History - Social Aspects
  • ">Cooking & Food History

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