Issue 112: The Food Issue

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The Oxford American’s Spring 2021 issue is devoted to exploring the intersections of food, art, and identity.

The issue is guest edited by Alice Randall, the New York Times best-selling novelist, award-winning songwriter, educator, food activist, and cookbook author.
Contributors include Crystal Wilkinson, who shares a meditation on cooking in the time of COVID; Cynthia R. Greenlee, who investigates the history and transformation of pimento cheese; Channing Gerard Joseph, who explores the significance of the cakewalk; restauranteurs Brad Johnson and Tandy Wilson; poet Tarfia Faizullah; and fiction writer Eugenia Collier, who anchors a special section on the sweet potato pie.

In addition to essays, short stories, poems, and artwork, the issue features recipes and playlists.

“We will look back to move forward, centering the Southern kitchen, in the African diaspora, and in conversation with other arts—for in the African-American experience cooking in the South has long been both an expressive and global practice,” said Randall. “This time of racial reckoning includes overdue celebrations of Black excellence. The honors earned yet ungiven. In the spirit of Sankofa we will honor and celebrate. And we will do some hard reckoning on racism in the Southern food world now.”

Randall has contributed to the Oxford American since 2010, most recently to the 2020 Southern Music Issue, for which she reflects on the artistry of LaVern Baker. Her book Soul Food Love: Healthy Recipes Inspired by One Hundred Years of Cooking in a Black Family, coauthored with her daughter, Caroline Randall Williams, won the NAACP Image Award.

Copies of the food issue will mail to subscribers and customers who pre-order on March 10, 2021. The issue will be available on newsstands on March 23, 2021.

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