Friday, January 20, 2017

Weekly overview - week of January 16

During this short week, we turned our focus to historical food narratives. After learning about Mrs. Abby Fisher (a woman who was born a slave in Alabama and eventually became a prominent caterer and cookbook author in California), we browsed through her digitized cookbook, What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Southern Cooking (published 1881). Our other key area of focus was on the role of food during the Civil Rights Movement (including the Greensboro sit-in; the Black Panther breakfast program; and Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere). In groups, students read articles about these topics and shared their findings and insights with the class. Our third text for the week was a poem: “The Traveling Onion” by Naomi Shihab Nye. In this poem, the speaker sings the praises of the often overlooked onion and other “small forgotten miracles.” The poem gave us a way to consider the route that food (even that as mundane as an onion) takes to arrive on our plates. Together, this week’s readings and activities gave us opportunities to consider how eating, which is such a personal activity, actually connects us to people and places from far outside of our own immediate communities.

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