Soul Food: An Interpretation of the History, Significance and Southern Roots of the American Cuisine


This thesis is a collection of stories in which I explored several facets of soul food, the cuisine of the American South. It uses soul food as a prism to view the cuisine’s connections to race, politics, economics, class, history and social consequences. Rather than write an academic paper, I presented my findings in a series of articles based on live interviews with food historians, culinary writers, entrepreneurs and chefs. I also examined various books, articles and blogs written by these culinary writers. This is not a comprehensive history of the cuisine, nor does it attempt to take sides with any of the groups that argue about the precise definition of what soul food is. Instead, this thesis explores those definitions, along with the societal issues that go along with them in classic journalistic fashion. In short, this thesis demonstrates that soul food has complex meanings far beyond its taste

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This paper was published in The University of Mississippi.

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