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Tue Jun 26, 2012, 09:52 AM

Film “Soul Food Junkies” Examines African American Cuisine and Culture

Mac and cheese oozing buttery-goodness, thickly-crusted golden fried chicken, greens swimming in pork fat, chunky ribs slathered in smoky sauce, red velvet cake sporting an inch of icing. Are these a cherished part of African American culture or a recipe for an early death? The answer is both, as last Thursday’s West Coast premiere of Byron Hurt’s movie Soul Food Junkies vividly demonstrated. The screening at the Oakland School for the Arts was co-sponsored by KQED and the HUB. The event closed the The Oakland Innovation Film Lab and was followed by a panel discussion with local food activists and a spread of treats from Souley Vegan Restaurant in Oakland. All three aspects of the evening were enthusiastically received by the young, artistic-looking, urban, mostly African American crowd.

In this documentary film, selected by KQED’s Independent Lens Series to air in the upcoming 2012-13 season, Hurt uses his own family’s story as a through-line, centering on his father’s unflagging devotion to the artery-clogging classic dishes in the soul food repertoire. Hurt recalls that growing up he wanted to be just like his “Pops” and copied his Sunday breakfast ritual of grits and eggs, smothered with cheese, salt pork and bacon. After college, Hurt, (as well as his sister and mother) altered their diets. But, his father continued to gain weight, refusing to change his eating habits, even in the face of the pancreatic cancer that ultimately took his life at an early age.

Hurt's personal story is flanked throughout the film by commentary from a range of historians, scholars, soul food chefs, doctors, and everyday folk who illuminate the cultural complexities in the African American relationship to food. “Soul food is a repository for our history,” says one.
http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2012/06/25/film-soul-food-junkies-examines-african-american-cuisine-and-culture/

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Reply Film “Soul Food Junkies” Examines African American Cuisine and Culture (Original post)
Blue_Tires Jun 2012 OP
unblock Jun 2012 #1
JustAnotherGen Jun 2012 #2
Blue_Tires Jun 2012 #3
kwassa Jun 2012 #4

Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 10:04 AM

1. mac & cheese is soul food? learn something new every day....

mrs. unblock and i once went to a favorably reviewed soul food restaurant (delta's in new brunswick, nj) and i swear all we could taste was the salt.

nowadays we no longer eat meat or poultry and we watch our diet in other ways as well, so traditional soul food is mostly out, though i'm very curious about this "souley vegan" restaurant. too bad oakland is on the other coast.

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Response to unblock (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 11:01 AM

2. Delta's was just naaaaaaaaasty

Naaah - didn't like it at all! :lmao:

bluetires -my dad post his stroke (1998) seriously altered all of the family recipes. It's as simple as turkey neck bone instead of hammocks to season collards.

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Response to JustAnotherGen (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 12:13 PM

3. Yeah, my family members have been making gradual changes as well

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Response to Blue_Tires (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 10:07 PM

4. Soul food is just Southern cooking

and like many traditional cuisines from places all over the world, very high in fat.

but Southern food just ladles it on.

Traditional American cooking is bad for you. That is a fact. It is possible to change these recipes into interesting, flavorful, and healthy alternatives, too. It is all about food edumacation.


Speaking as a semi-vegan, nothing is sacrificed.

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