Asian American Studies

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From Civil Rights to Food Justice: Race, Food Security, and the Environment

Event Type
Department of African American Studies
1065 Lincoln Hall
Oct 12, 2018   12:00 pm  
Dr. Bobby J. Smith II

Throughout the civil rights movement, the relationship between race, segregation, and the politics of food shaped the social, political, economic, and nutritional realities of African Americans. Yet issues of food are largely absent from historical narratives of the civil rights movement. Dr. Bobby J. Smith II recovers this history and examines an often-overlooked moment when activists in the Mississippi Delta extended the movement’s agenda to address the relationship between race, food, agriculture and power. Through what he calls a “food story” of the civil rights era, Dr. Smith sheds light on the central role food played in the strategies and tactics of both proponents and opponents of the movement. This talk provides a critical historical foundation for scholars and students interested in understanding how communities and activists address issues of food justice, food security, poverty, and hunger within national and global contexts.

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