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To commemorate Juneteenth and the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, scholars, researchers, students, journalists, authors, restaurateurs, farmers, chefs, activists and anyone interested in exploring issues of race, cultural identity and power imbalance through the lens of food will gather in Austin, Texas, for an historic, first-ever conference dedicated to African American foodways.

The symposium begins on Emancipation Day with a Welcome Reception in the elegant foyer of the George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center. We will spend the next day and a half eating and drinking together on the historic campus of Austin’s historically black college, Huston-Tillotson University, while discussing the complex intersection of African American foodways traditions and how they have been used to define culture.

On Thanksgiving weekend, an MSNBC segment with Melissa Harris-Perry turned attention from outrage and protests over events in Ferguson, Mo. to a discussion about food, race and identity. With Jim Crow era stereotypes and ignored culinary history as the backdrop, the panel presented an academic dialogue to viewers, raising the question: What we can learn about who we are when we shake off the shame about how or what we eat?

We plan to answer that question and hope you will join us.
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