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The African-American Heritage Cookbook: Traditional Recipes and Fond Remembrances from Alabama's Renowned Tuskegee Institute

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by Carolyn Q. Tillery
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Herself a Tuskegee Institute graduate, Carolyn Quick Tillery pays tribute here to the lasting and extensive importance of food both at the university and in the lives of some of its most famous leaders and graduates.

Tillery’s recipe notes sometimes read like a list of bold-faced names among Black Americans as she establishes the bona fides of the recipes she includes: Ralph Ellison, Marian Anderson, Duke Ellington, W.E.B. Du Bois, and W.C. Handy all appear in the introduction to a tea punch recipe. Her generous use of quotations from published memoirs and papers within the Tuskegee archives help establish the context for the recipes.

There are numerous recipes from George Washington Carver, one of the school’s most famous faculty members, and pancakes from civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.The food itself ranges from the resolutely Southern (country ham with red-eye gravy; chitterlings; benne seed wafers) to those which are modern enough to remind us that the university is still an active institution (grilled shrimp with spicy papaya salsa; garlic-lime chicken wings).

A welcome piece of history, this is a modestly updated reprint of a book which first appeared in 1996.

Hardcover. Black-and-white photographs throughout.

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