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Virtual program on how Virginia’s enslaved cooks invented American cuisine

The Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical and Historical Society will meet at 11 a.m. Saturday via a virtual platform.

Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz will discuss her book, “Bound to the Fire: How Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks Helped Invent American Cuisine.”

In relating the history and legacy of enslaved plantation cooks, Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study that goes from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. She reveals how men and women were literally “bound to the fire” as they lived and worked in the sweltering and often fetid conditions of plantation house kitchens.

Deetz is the Director of Programming, Education, and Visitor Engagement at Westmoreland County’s Stratford Hall. She holds a BA in Africana Studies and History from The College of William and Mary and an MA and Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

For an invitation to the virtual...

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