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Creative Survival: African American Foodways in Rhode Island

Upcoming exhibit at the Culinary Arts Museum to be funded in part by a grant from the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities 

The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities has awarded a grant to Ocean State Learning in support of an exhibition: “Creative Survival: African American Foodways in Rhode Island.”  This will be completed in partnership with the Culinary Arts Museum, and will be on display in the museum’s temporary gallery for a six month run, beginning in late September 2011. 

The project will trace black food in slavery, survival and celebration, from the South County slave who created johnnycakes to current restaurateurs.  Featured in the exhibit will be the oral histories of black church women, restaurant owners, cooks and chefs, in addition to menus, recipes, photographs and other artifacts.  The opening event, taking place on September 22, 2011, will include a lecture and food tasting.  For more details, call 401-598-2805, or click on the “contact us” link at the bottom of the page to send an email.


Did you know?
Oyster Shucking 


The first oyster and alehouse was opened in Providence, RI by Emmanuel “Manna” Bernoon in 1736.  “Manna,” a free African American, later went on to own his own catering business and a tavern.

-from Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America. New York: Bloomsbury, 2011.