November 25, 2014

Food and Protest

Thanksgiving 2014

Following the recent grand jury decision to not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown, protests and vandalism erupted in Ferguson and nearby St. Louis, Missouri. Rafia Zafar, professor of English, African and African-American Studies, and American Culture Studies, has written about protests in the civil rights movement and how, surprisingly, food and the sharing of meals played a symbolic role in that struggle. For activists such as Anne Moody, the simple act of ordering a grilled cheese sandwich was a dangerous act of protest. This Thanksgiving week, we reflect on this earlier era of protestors and the many roles of food in American culture.

Zafar's expanded commentary was first released in fall 2012, as part of our Farms/Food series. 

Image Anne Moody, Wisconsin Historical Society. Audio Free Music Archive: Electric Mirrors