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The Jemima Code


Oct 20 2016


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Center for Documentary Studies

1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705

The Jemima Code

The Jemima Code

A Conversation with Toni Tipton-Martin

Join us for a reception, artist’s talk, and book signing with Toni Tipton-Martin and the Jemima Code exhibit. Women of African descent have contributed to America’s food culture for centuries, but their rich and varied involvement and expertise is still overshadowed by the demeaning stereotype of an illiterate “Aunt Jemima” who cooked mostly by natural instinct. Culinary journalist Toni Tipton-Martin spent years amassing one of the world’s largest private collections of cookbooks published by African American authors, seeking to discover the true role of black women in the creation of American, and especially southern, cuisine, and to reclaim their skills and knowledge from this culinary caricature.

Tipton-Martin’s Jemima Code exhibition at the Center for Documentary Studies (September 22–November 5, 2016) features the first known photographs of African American cooks along with interactive installments, cookbooks, and other related ephemera. The exhibit builds upon her award-winning book, The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks, which offers firsthand evidence of African American cooks’ impact on American food, families, and communities.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Documentary Studies and the Forum for Scholars and Publics. 


Toni Tipton-Martin

Toni Tipton-Martin is an award-winning food and nutrition journalist, educator, and community activist. She is the author of The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks (University of Texas Press, Fall 2015) and the founder of the SANDE Youth Project, a nonprofit organization that uses cultural heritage, organic gardening, basic cooking skills, and nutrition to improve lives.…...

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