Now on display in the center cases of the Main Room:
Making Their Own Way: African Americans in the Culinary World
With a selection of the Longone Archive’s African American–authored works from the early 19th to the late 20th century, this exhibit presents the voices of household employees, restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, teachers, ministers, and other unsung heroes who shared their expertise in print. These stand in for the countless cooks and other accomplished individuals whose experience has not come down to us (or come only indirectly), but who have been an essential part of the American culinary experience since Colonial times. What they have to tell us, whether forthrightly and in so many words, or cautiously and between the lines, unfolds the integration of food into African American lives as art, livelihood, sustenance, pleasure, celebration, community, religious expression, and identity. Each voice is unique, and yet together they build a story, just as each cook’s dishes are unique, but together they constitute a cuisine.