The Polsky Practical Personal Enrichment Series

Michael Twitty

"Culinary Justice" and "Kosher/Soul"

by Michael Twitty

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Co-presented by JCCC Student Sustainability Committee

Michael W. Twitty a noted culinary and cultural historian, and creator of "Afroculinaria," the first blog devoted to African American historic foodways and their legacy will share his experiences with you.

He has appeared on "Bizarre Foods America" with Andrew Zimmerman and "Many Rivers to Cross" with Henry Louis Gates, and lectured to more than 200 groups, including Yale, Oxford and Carnegie Mellon universities, the Smithsonian Institution and Colonial Williamsburg. He has also spoken around the world; from the MAD Symposium in Copenhagen to the Barbican Theatre in London to Jerusalem's Jewish Film Festival on culinary justice and the African American impact on Southern foodways and the complexities of his identity as a gay, African American, Jewish man.

HarperCollins will release Twitty's first major book in 2017: "The Cooking Gene," which traces his ancestry through food. He was recently named one of 50 people changing the South by "Southern Living" and one of the Five Cheftavists to Watch, as well a TED Fellow.

Daytime Presentation: "Culinary Justice: Defining a Theory of Gastronomic Sovereignty"

Noon-1:30 p.m.
Craig Auditorium in the GEB building

Food justice, social justice, environmental justice, food sovereignty. An entire language has developed around how we want to see and live in a better world where fairness and right action prevail. In an extension of these concepts, Michael has begun to promote his notion of culinary justice—the idea that historically oppressed peoples have a right to authority, sovereignty, prosperity and acknowledgement in their contribution to national and global foodways. Join Michael for a lively discussion to explore the way the preparation of food unites and divides out narratives and how we can use it for the good.

Evening Presentation: "Kosher/Soul: Black-Jewish Identity Cooking"

7-8:30 p.m.
Hospitality and Culinary Academy

Being African American and Jewish is a combination that many can’t wrap their heads around. However, for thousands of Jews of color having heritage, faith and family in both diasporas – African and Jewish – and their many intersections means creating material, social and ideational lives that interweave identities and histories. For Michael Twitty, this includes food and the ways African American and Jewish people have mediated otherness and oppression using what they eat as well as the global stories diasporic foodways have to offer. Join Michael on an exploration and a taste of what he calls "Kosher/Soul."

Please RSVP: Both events are free to attend, but your RSVP is appreciated as seating is limited. You may email the Polsky Series, or call 913-469-3835.

About the Polsky Series

Norman Polsky
Norman Polsky

This series is underwritten by the Norman and Elaine Polsky Family Supporting Foundation within the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation in partnership with JCCC, and includes topics not currently offered elsewhere. Successful professionals share their knowledge to benefit you.

Past presentations include:
  • Math Doesn't Suck, presented by Danica McKellar (July 2011)
  • The Economy, Taxes and Your Money, presented by Peter Newman (September 2011)
  • Honoring the History and Service of the Tuskegee Airmen, presented by JCCC Veterans (November 2011)
  • Is Preventing Alzheimer's Disease Possible?, presented by Dr. Jeffrey Burns (September 2012)
  • The Heart of a Warrior, film premiere featuring Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval. (November 2012)
  • Windows on Culture, Doorways to Understanding: Viewing China through Architecture, presented by Dr. Jerome Silbergeld (December 2012)
  • Perennials from Around the World: How new plants are found, presented by Dan Heims (February 2013)
  • Making Hope Happen: Create the Future You Want for Yourself and Others (September 2013)
  • Straight Talk about Teens, Choices and Safety: Be a Parent First, a Friend Second (October 2013)
  • Military Service: A Latino Perspective (November 2013)
  • How Curiosity Changed My Life, Adam Steltzner, Lead Landing Engineer of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project (March 2014)
  • Ready or Not? It’s up to YOU: Smart, Simple Steps to Stay Safe, Kathy Wing (October 2014)
  • Collaboration and Change - Darden Smith and SongwritingWith:Soldiers (November 2015)
  • "Unlocking the Great Pyramid," by Jean-Pierre Houdin (April 2016)

Watch prior Polsky Series seminars online anytime; or via cable (in Johnson County only) on Consolidated Communications Channel 17, TimeWarner Channel 17 or Comcast of Olathe Channel 22 at 9 a.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.