Recipes for Racial Tension Headaches: A Critical Race Feminist’s Journey Through ‘Post-Racial’ USA’s Ethical Foodscape (2016)

I’ve been talking about this with some of you during the last 2 years. Well, here is the teaser cover below. The book comes out at the end of 2016.  This is just a teaser…but be patient please, as more details will come through during the next 1/2 year.  I have a little excerpt after the cover.

Recipes for Racial Tension HeadCover


Preface: Neoliberal Whiteness and World-Systems Perspectives on USA’s Ethical Foodscape

The canon of critical whiteness studies analyzes how whiteness functions at the structural, systemic, and institutional levels. I will be mostly using the term neoliberal whiteness to describe the contemporary era of racial-power structures and capitalism that current USA’s ethical foodscapes have been created and situated within. Neoliberalism operates as a major component in forming the racialized consciousness of the global North and West (Grosfoguel and CervantesRodríguez 2002; Maldonado Torres 2008). Hence, I will be using the term racialized consciousness which will help examine the ways in which consciousness is shaped in terms of white racist social structures” (Farr 2004: 144-145). I extend this to examine the ways in which meanings applied to food objects are shaped in terms of white racist social structures. Decolonial world-systems analysis will be utilized to explore meanings applied to the food objects advocated or denounced within the case studies this book will examine.

Decolonial world-systems theory allows me to build on the traditional models of world systems analysis by Wallerstein (1974). Wallerstein’s model seeks to understand phenomenon through a classical Marxist analysis of the global commodity chain. It reveals that ‘modernization’ and ‘development’ will not yield socio-economic equality for all who participate. Contemporary modernization theory assumes that the world has been fully decolonized and that developmentalism (i.e. neoliberalism) will resolve the negative consequences of colonialism (i.e. poverty, imperialism, racial inequality, and white supremacy) (Madldonado-Torres 2004; Grosfoguel 2007; Mignolo 2007). However, such traditional models neglect to consider how most “modern” day global North consumers are ignorant about the exploitative nature of commodity chains. Such ignorance is a direct affect of their geopolitical and epistemic locations within spaces of “modernity” (Sandlin and McLaren 2010). The canon of decolonial world-systems analysis reveals that the coloniality of power situates our epistemologies of ethics within a specific region of the world-system (Grosfoguel and Cervantes-Rodrígues 2002). ‘Coloniality’ articulates

‘colonial situations’ in the present period in which colonial administrations have almost been eradicated from the capitalist world-system. By ‘colonial situations’ [this means] the cultural, political, sexual, spiritual, epistemic and economic oppression/exploitation of subordinate racialized/ethnic groups by dominant racialized/ethnic groups with or without the existence of colonial administrations. Five hundred years of European colonial expansion and domination formed an international division of labor between Europeans and non-Europeans that is reproduced in the present so-called ‘post-colonial’ phase of the capitalist worldsystem (Grosfoguel xxi: 2007).

It is no surprise that these spaces of coloniality (periphery zones) in which food sources are extracted, overlap with regions of the world that have already been colonized by the global West. Neoliberal whiteness has replaced the existence of colonial administrations to ensure that these periphery zones of food sources remain in service to the global North and West.

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About A. Breeze Harper, PhD

A. Breeze Harper, PhD is a sought-after speaker, writer, researcher and consultant. Dr. Harper’s work focuses on food and social justice, ethical consumption, alternative health philosophies and critical race feminism.

She was the editor of Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak On Food, Identity, Health, and Society, a groundbreaking anthology that examined how race and gender shape the vegan experience in the USA and she travels extensively speaking to colleges, organizations and businesses.

She has been invited to deliver keynote addresses and lectures at universities and conferences throughout North America. Her talks explore how and why people have unique relationships to food and wellness and how these relationships are impacted by race, socio-economic class, gender, sexuality and physical abilities.

She has also participated in panels and joint presentations with other food and social justice leaders such as prominent vegan chef and activist Bryant Terry (Afro-Vegan, Vegan Soul Kitchen and The Inspired Vegan), food justice activist Lauren Ornelas (Food Empowerment Project), Raj Patel (author of Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System), sociologist Alison Alkon (Black, White and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy), Julie Cummins (Center for Urban Education for Sustainable Agriculture), Decolonial Food for Thought blogger Claudia Serrato and community advocate and food entrepreneur Brahm Ahmadi (People’s Community Market, Oakland, CA).

Harper organizes the yearly Sistah Vegan Project conference which brings community leaders, activists and intellectuals together with an eager audience to speak about the links between social justice and animal rights, sexualization of the body, parenting and spirituality, cosmetic marginalization and indigenous foodways from non-white vegan perspectives. In 2015, the conference theme was The Vegan Praxis of Black Lives Matter.

Dr. Harper, who is drawn to social fiction as a compelling means of examining social issues, has recently completed the novel, Scars: A Black Lesbian Experience in Rural White New England (2014) examines intersections of race, class, sexuality, rural geography and white privilege. Scars is part of Sense Publishers’ award-winning Social Fiction series.

A. Breeze Harper received a B.A. in geography from Dartmouth College (1998), a Master’s in Educational Technologies from Harvard University (2007) and graduated summa cum-laude from the University of California-Davis with a PhD (2013 – Dissertation – Vegan Consciousness and the Commodity Chain) in critical geographies of race and food.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and three young children and runs the critical diversity and strategic consulting firm Critical Diversity Solutions.

If you would like Dr. Harper to speak at your event, please contact here at .

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