This webinar is part of Sotterley’s Common Ground Initiative: 
Transcending Barriers Toward Healing
Sotterley’s 14th Annual Speaker Series

Food and Black Freedom: Reflections on Race, Resistance, and the Legacy of Food Justice


About the Webinar

Dr. Smith will trace how the relationship between food, race, and power shape the social, political, and economic dynamics of the American Black Freedom Struggle.  He examines the story of food during one of the most celebrated and hotly contested eras in American History—the Civil Rights Movement in the Mississippi Delta. Shedding light on the central role food played in the strategies and tactics of both proponents and opponents of the movement, Dr. Smith provides a critical historical foundation for understanding how Black communities and activists today address issues of food justice, food security, poverty, and hunger within national and global contexts.

​​​​​​​Dr. Bobby J. Smith II is a sociologist and Assistant Professor in the department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research uses sociohistorical and community-based approaches to analyze historical and contemporary struggles for food justice and food sovereignty in Black communities in the United States. Dr. Smith graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, with a focus on Agricultural Economics, from the historically-Black Prairie View A&M University in 2011. He earned a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 2013 and a Ph.D. in Development Sociology in 2018 from Cornell University.

​​​​​​​This event is made possible by the generous support of Destination Southern Maryland (Southern Maryland Heritage Area) and the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.

  • Dr. Bobby J. Smith II

    Webinar Host

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