In celebration of Black History Month, we’ll be highlighting a diverse range of books, all written by Black American authors, all of which celebrate and prioritize the 2024 theme, “African Americans and the Arts”. We will be exploring the key influence African Americans have had in the fields of “visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression.” We’ll be featuring a title every day through the month of February.

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History discusses this years theme stating, “African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences. In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount. African American artists have used art to preserve history and community memory as well as for empowerment. Artistic and cultural movements such as the New Negro, Black Arts, Black Renaissance, hip-hop, and Afrofuturism, have been led by people of African descent and set the standard for popular trends around the world. In 2024, we examine the varied history and life of African American arts and artisans.”

Todays work is Bryant Terry’s Black Food: Stories, Art and Recipes From Across the African Dispora. In this stunning and deeply heartfelt tribute to Black culinary ingenuity, Bryant Terry captures the broad and divergent voices of the African Diaspora through the prism of food. With contributions from more than 100 Black cultural luminaires from around the globe, the book moves through chapters exploring parts of the Black experience, from Homeland to Migration, Spirituality to Black Future, offering delicious recipes, moving essays, and arresting artwork.

As much a joyful celebration of Black culture as a cookbook, Black Food explores the interweaving of food, experience, and community through original poetry and essays, including “Jollofing with Toni Morrison” by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, “Queer Intelligence” by Zoe Adjonyoh, “The Spiritual Ecology of Black Food” by Leah Penniman, and “Foodsteps in Motion” by Michael W. Twitty. The recipes are similarly expansive and generous, including sentimental favorites and fresh takes such as Crispy Cassava Skillet Cakes from Yewande Komolafe, Okra & Shrimp Purloo from BJ Dennis, Jerk Chicken Ramen from Suzanne Barr, Avocado and Mango Salad with Spicy Pickled Carrot and Rof Dressing from Pierre Thiam, and Sweet Potato Pie from Jenné Claiborne. Visually stunning artwork from such notables as Black Panther Party creative director Emory Douglas and artist Sarina Mantle are woven throughout, and the book includes a signature musical playlist curated by Bryant. With arresting artwork and innovative design, Black Food is a visual and spiritual feast that will satisfy any soul.

Stay tuned for a new book tomorrow!