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Bobby J. Smith II
University of Illinois (Champaign, IL 61801-3620)
Food Power Politics: Race, Civil Rights, and Food Access in the Mississippi Delta

Research and writing two chapters of a book on food politics in the Mississippi Delta during and after the civil rights movement.

Food Power Politics is the first book to analyze the interaction between oppressive and emancipatory practices of food power as exercised in the Mississippi Delta from the civil rights era to today. By documenting this dynamic, my book shifts the way we understand civil rights history and current struggles against food disparities in black communities. It offers a new line of inquiry that uncovers a neglected period of the movement when activists expanded the meaning of civil rights to address food as integral to social and economic conditions. This meaning-making process is used as a model by black communities today that mobilize around the food justice movement. By making these connections, my book shows how current concerns for food disparities in black communities are rooted in the civil rights struggle and how black communities work to create solutions to those disparities locally and nationally.

Project fields:
African American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2020