Beacon Press: The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro
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The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro

Created by: National Council of Negro Women

The classic yearlong celebration of black heritage from Emancipation Proclamation Breakfast Cake to Wandering Pilgrim’s Stew

Available again in its original format, this community treasure, first published in 1958 by the National Council of Negro Women, is a unique collection of historical facts, photos, personal anecdotes, and of course a rich selection of seasonally-arranged recipes for such dishes as Southern Hoppin’ John, Corn Dumplings and Stew, West Indian Banana Jam, South Carolina Rice Waffles, Mandarin Pot Roast Chicken, and Peanut Cake with Molasses.

Arranged according to the calendar year, the cookbook opens with Emancipation Proclamation Breakfast Cake, to be made in celebration of New Year’s Day and the Emancipation Proclamation. Scattered among the recipes, one finds documents like the Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Tributes to historical figures like Harriet Tubman, Phillis Wheatley, and Booker T. Washington appear alongside brief bios and recipes celebrating important but less well-known persons. Baked Fish for’Dr. Dan’s’ Birthday, for example, commemorates Dr. Daniel H. Williams, who in 1893 became the first surgeon to operate successfully on a human heart.

African-Americans are heir to a fantastic and important heritage, one that should be cherished and shared among generations. This beloved commemoration of African-American history before the civil rights movement offers a wealth of ways to celebrate the struggle and achievements of a people.

Lovingly recovered by the group that created it more than half a century ago, The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro is a cultural treasure. It continues to be a vital part of the African American community.
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“We have roasted, toasted, boiled, and fried on open fire and in electric ovens. We have cooked for presidents and brutes and poets. We have taken the discards of well-to-do kitchens and made mouth-watering dishes. We made bread on the blade of a garden tool: hoe cake. We know a lot about cooking to survive and even more about cooking to thrive. In this country we have been, for over three centuries, Historical Cooks.” -Maya Angelou


Review: Virginia Quarterly Review - February 1, 2006
"This amazing historical treasure is available again in its original form. Full of facts, photos, stories, it is arranged to commemorate dates important to the African American, and therefore the American population. A wonderful book for a new century."
Review by: Larry Cox, Arizona Daily Star - January 1, 2005
"In addition to the 132 outstanding recipes, The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro offers historical facts, rare illustrations, and even personal anecdotes. This collection is a celebration of both ethnic cuisine and-more important-the American spirit."

The Historical Cookbook of the American Negro

ISBN: 978-080700965-9
Publication Date: 2/1/2006
Pages: 208
Size:6 x Inches (US)
Price:  $14.00
Temporarily out of Stock