2020 Margaret Mead Award, American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology


2020 Association for the Study of Food and Society Book Award

“Black Food Geographies is an ethnographically and theoretically rich text that counters narratives of Black dependence and passivity. Reese presents a long history of self-reliance manifested as a value and practice that waxes and wanes in a neighborhood that continues to respond to shifting national trends and structural constraints, and one in which notions of the ‘self’ are understood as both individual and communal.”

Candice M. Swift
(Vassar College) Transforming Anthropology

“This book should be required reading for anyone seeking to understand how anti-black racism and food insecurity are coproduced in the United States. Reese’s text is deeply embedded in black food experiences, but her intersectional approach to understanding power and refusal would likely be important for making sense of food apartheid and health disparities among other systematically marginalized and racialized groups, both within the United States and transnationally (e.g., immigrants of precarious or undocumented status, refugees, low income women of color, working-class families).”

Megan A. Carney (University of Arizona)Medical Anthropology Quarterly

Contributors: Adam Bledsoe, U of Minnesota; Billy Hall; Analena Hope Hassberg, California State Polytechnic U, Pomona; Yuson Jung, Wayne State U; Kimberly Kasper, Rhodes College; Tyler McCreary, Florida State U; Andrew Newman, Wayne State U; Gillian Richards-Greaves, Coastal Carolina U; Monica M. White, U of Wisconsin–Madison; Brian Williams, Mississippi State U; Judith Williams, Florida International U; Psyche Williams-Forson, U of Maryland, College Park; Willie J. Wright, Rutgers U.

For Black Americans, the food system is broken. When it comes to nutrition, Black consumers experience an unjust and inequitable distribution of resources. Black Food Matters examines these issues through in-depth essays that analyze how Blackness is contested through food, differing ideas of what makes our sustenance “healthy,” and Black individuals’ own beliefs about what their cuisine should be.

Primarily written by nonwhite scholars, and framed through a focus on Black agency instead of deprivation, the essays here showcase Black communities fighting for the survival of their food culture. The book takes readers into the real world of Black sustenance, examining animal husbandry practices in South Carolina, the work done by the Black Panthers to ensure food equality, and Black women who are pioneering urban agriculture. These essays also explore individual and community values, the influence of history, and the ongoing struggle to meet needs and affirm Black life.

A comprehensive look at Black food culture and the various forms of violence that threaten the future of this cuisine, Black Food Matters centers Blackness in a field that has too often framed Black issues through a white-centric lens, offering new ways to think about access, privilege, equity, and justice.