2018: A Common Table History Harvest

Our Civil Rights: A Common Table Series – SUMMER 2018

Facilitated by Ina Dixon, a PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill, Our Civil Rights: Our Common Table is a discussion series over the summer of 2018 exploring the history of food and race in the South, as well as in our local community.  Below is information and resources for each session. Please feel free to browse or contribute to our Dan River Region Community Cookbook! 


May 22 – Community Potluck 5:30 – 7:30pm (5:30pm-6:00pm refreshments; 6-7:30pm program)This first session kicks off the series with refreshments and will lay the broad historical scope and ideas that we will cover over the summer.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a dish.

Resources consulted:

The Edible South by Marcie Cohen-Ferris

The Potlikker Papers by John T. Edge

Health Collaborative’s 2017 Health Equity Report: http://www.thehealthcollab.com/content/thehealthcollab/uploads/PDF/2017_health_equity_report/2017-health-equity-report-hr.pdf

What America Ate http://whatamericaate.org/

Henry Hargraves, Food Photographer: http://henryhargreaves.com/about/

Bitter Southerner: http://bittersoutherner.com/

Bibliography of Virginia-Related Cookbooks© Compiled by Cynthia D. Bertelsen, Spring 2006: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/culinary/va_cookbooks_bib.pdf


School of Life “Why We Eat Too Much”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wb-6fhfAn2I

History United, StoryCorps 2016 interviews:

June 19 – Understanding Food in the South (5:30pm-6:00pm refreshments; 6-7:30pm program) This session offers a broad background in the history of food in the South, with a special focus on the creation of the “modern” South beginning in the 20th century.  

Resources consulted :

DeCredico, Mary. “Richmond Bread Riot.” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 10 Feb. 2012. Web. 18 Jun. 2018. http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Bread_Riot_Richmond  

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. Written by Himself. Boston: Anti-Slavery Office, 1845.https://www.docsouth.unc.edu/neh/douglass/menu.html

Egerton, John, and Ann Bleidt Egerton. Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993.
Engelhardt, Elizabeth Sanders Delwiche. A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011.

Federal Writers Project, America Eats. 1935 1939.   https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/newdeal/fwp.html

Ferris, Marcie Cohen. The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Holbrook Ross Video History Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFYHM1iwFxY&t=6s

Meade, Julian R. I Live in Virginia. New York & Toronto: Longmans, Green & Co., 1935. https://archive.org/details/iliveinvirginia008017mbp.

Southern Foodways Alliance, If We So Choose https://www.southernfoodways.org/film/if-we-so-choose/

Civil Rights chant: Welcome table:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4EeE6ccU40 

July 24 – At the Table of the Farmer at the Table of the Worker (5:30pm-6:00pm refreshments; 6-7:30pm program) This session examines the crossroads of food and work, discussing how different occupations shape what we ate during the heyday of tobacco and textiles and why.

Resources consulted:

Ayers, Edward L. The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction. New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1993.

Engelhardt, Elizabeth Sanders Delwiche. A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011.

Ferris, Marcie Cohen. The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014.

Guerrant, William C. Jim Wrenn. Rough Branch Publishing, 2017.

Hall, Jacquelyn Dowd, James Leloudis, Robert Korstad, Mary Murphy, Lu Ann Jones, and Christopher B. Daly. Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton World (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1987)

Minchin, Timothy J. “Dan River Mills.” Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, 21 Nov. 2013. Web. 18 Jul. 2018. http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Dan_River_Mills

Sounds Around Virginia: Schoolfield https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSylTjxM_lE and Tobacco, Part II https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asWfvEz3Xvs

Wright, Gavin. Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy since the Civil War. Louisiana pbk. ed. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.

Virginia Agriculture Facts & Figures: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/agfacts.pdf

August 21 Our Local Flavors (5:30pm-6:00pm refreshments; 6-7:30pm program) This session  explores the local flavors of the Dan River Region, bringing in potential guests such area wineries, farms and local restaurants.  

Resources consulted:

Grace & Main: http://graceandmain.org/

The Health Collaborative: http://www.thehealthcollab.com/

Dan River History – StoryCorps & History United interviews:

2014 Danville StoryCorps – Bob and Sandy Gilbert

2016 StoryCorps – Darcy Cropp & Justin Ferrell

2016 Danville StoryCorps – Joshua Hearne & Bruce Hopson

2016 Danville StoryCorps – Eddy Parham & Liz Whittaker

2016 Danville StoryCorps – Julie & Alex Brown

September 18 – A Common Cookbook  (5:30pm-6:00pm refreshments; 6-7:30pm program) This session will feature Jamie Ross, the director of Red Dirt Productions and a former fellow with Virginia Humanities. She is currently working on a film, At the Common Table, that traces the history and culture Southern foodways.  Ms. Ross showed clips from her film and discussed how she collects diverse stories of culture and food in the South. 

We used the end of the session to reflect over the summer and share recipes toward the creation of a common Dan River Region cookbook. This digital cookbook articulates who we are by featuring the food we lovingly prepare to share with others in our community.  Feel free to browse and contribute to the cookbook by clicking here.