Exploration of Food and the Great Migration at Moline Public Library PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Jennifer Christiansen   
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 13:04

The Moline Public Library welcomes Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar Donna Pierce, as she presents Meals on Wheels: Great Migration Recipes Ride the Rails North on Wednesday, April 9th at 7:00 p.m.  This program is free and does not require registration. 

Meals on Wheels is presented as part of the six-week series Created Equal and Changing America, which explores our nation’s civil rights history through film, exhibition, and presentations.  More information about the series can be found at molinelibrary.com/createdequal or by contacting the Moline Public Library at 309-524-2470.

Before the Great Migration, 90% of all African Americans in the U. S. lived in Southern states. Between 1915 and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1970s, six million black people changed their address from the segregated and “separate but equal” Jim Crow South to the urban north. Several Illinois cities have come to be known as destinations of the Great Migration including Alton, Peoria, and Chicago.  Using cookbooks and oral history, Ms. Pierce will explore migrated recipes such as smothered chicken, chitterlings, black-eyed peas, barbecue, biscuits, grits, greens, banana pudding, caramel cake, and peach cobbler. For many Illinois children and grandchildren of uprooted families, these recipes transplant them back to a South (with ties to Africa) many of them have never known, except through stories and photographs.

Donna Pierce, former Assistant Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director for the Chicago Tribune, is a Chicago-based contributing editor for Upscale magazine and a columnist for the Chicago Defender.  At the Tribune, she shared the first place award for Best newspaper Food Project in 2008 with Bill Daley, having won two first place awards for her columns in previous years. Meals on Wheels, a Road Scholars program, is presented by the Illinois Humanities Council, which is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly (through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency), as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.  


Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of itsBridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Changing America is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Local support for Created Equal and Changing America has been provided by Friends of the Moline Public Library, WQPT, and The Moline Dispatch/Rock Island Argus/QCOnline. 

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