Food, Race, and Learning/Reading

I was planning on writing about something more serious today, but through circumstances (aka procrastinating on Facebook) the topic of food, books, and race popped up. I thought “We need a BINGO card!” So now we have a learning/reading challenge in thinking about food and race.

Why this topic?

Food is an integral part of culture and life. Food helps to define different cultures and literally sustains us. Food can be an expression of love, or it can be used as a weapon against people. If you look back on people of color histories, there is ample evidence of how food shaped who and how we are in the US today. I’m from Hawaii where many Asians migrated to Hawaii to work on the sugarcane and pineapple fields. For many Native and Indigenous people they lost their homelands due to plantations or settlers who took over to farm and ‘tame’ the land. Many African American and Black people were brought against their will to America to work on plantations. For many POCs our migration or place stories are linked to food in some ways.

Food is also an expression of joy and love. During the winter break I ‘researched,’ aka watched YouTube videos, on how to make several Japanese and Okinawan desserts. I enjoyed the challenge and found joy in sharing the experience with others.

I hope this challenge helps you connect with a different part of people’s identities.

A few notes

In the BINGO boxes where it says book, you can choose to make this whatever you want. If you want to read an article go for it. If you want to watch a TED talk on the topic, please do so. My only goal is to get us thinking differently about race and food.

If you need some suggestions about books related to some of these squares here is a list in Fakequity’s Bookshop link (it is an affiliate link).

Book featuring a soup from a different culturePicture book by an author of color about food  Cookbook by a Black author  Book about how food is colonized or weaponized against POCs  Fiction book by an author of color centered around food  
Book about noodles or breads from a culture different than your own (preferably POC cultures)Book related to food by a Middle East author  Learn about food as sovereignty or food justice for people of colorFood memoir by author of color  Young Adult book with a food scene  
Cookbook by an Indigenous author  Watch a POC based documentary related to food  FREE — Snack breakLearn about a fruit from Latin America and/or Asia  Read about food insecurity and impact on kids of color  
Food theme or titled graphic novel by author of color or illustrator of color  Read about POC farmers  Book or blog related to food by an Asian or Latinx authorRead about desserts related to ethnic celebrations (e.g. Dia de los Muertos, Tet, etc.)Food as liberation

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