Black Culture in Cookbooks & Culinary Histories

If you’re interested in history and culture, don’t leave cookbooks off of your reading list! These cookbooks, from a variety of authors and viewpoints and a variety of time periods, examine the different ways that African American history is alive in the foodways of Black Americans. Cookbooks can be a fascinating document of people’s lives and the way they come together as a community and keep traditions alive.

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Ghetto Gastro Presents: Black Power Kitchen

The collective known as Ghetto Gastro pours their unique blend of food, music, fashion, visual arts and activism into this delicious manifesto of Black culinary and cultural history.

If I Can Cook/You Know God Can

Playwright and poet Shange mixes memories, food histories and political commentary with recipes from various countries.

My America: Recipes From a Young Black Chef

Onwuachi presents more than 125 global recipes from the food of the African Diaspora, as handed down through his family. The book also includes stories of his travels, showing the connections between food, place, and culture. 

Soul Food: Classic Cuisine From the Deep South

Introduced by a narrative, each of these recipes is informed by the rich history of the South and the legacy of slavery in America, highlighting the food traditions that came to American and were transformed into Black culinary soul food culture.

Sweet Home Café Cookbook: A Celebration of African American Cooking

The café at the National Museum of African American History and Culture is a standout example of how to integrate historical foodways into the entire museum experience – and now home cooks can learn about these foodways and recreate the meals offered at the café.