Culinary and cultural historian Michael W. Twitty will present the 2020 Wilma Dykeman Stokely Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, February 11, at 7 p.m. at The Press Room, 730 N. Broadway, Knoxville. Twitty will talk about his Cooking Gene Project, with special reference to African-American heritage foods in Tennessee. The lecture is free and open to the public.
Twitty is the author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, which was both the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book of the Year and the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award Winner in Writing. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the lecture, and the author will be available to sign books after he speaks.
Twitty is also the creator of Afroculinaria, an award-winning blog that explores the culinary traditions of Africa, African America, and the African diaspora. His interests include food culture, food history, Jewish cultural issues, African-American history, and cultural politics.
The lecture is hosted by Friends of the Knox County Public Library and the Library Society of the University of Tennessee. Other sponsors are the Knox County Public Library, the Knox County Public Library Foundation, the East Tennessee Historical Society, The Press Room, Union Ave Books, UT Libraries, and WUOT. The lecture honors the late Wilma Dykeman Stokely (1920–2006), writer, speaker, teacher, historian, environmentalist, and long-time friend of the Knox County Public Library. Her papers are part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and Archives at the University of Tennessee Libraries.
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