Joseph Ewoodzie sets the table for a look at race and class in the South through food
Joseph “Piko” Ewoodzie has written a book with a deceptively simple title.
The book is called “Getting Something To Eat In Jackson,” and on its surface, it’s about exactly that: how different Black people in Jackson, Mississippi, decide what to eat every day.
But below the surface there’s a lot going on — how the system makes it hard for homeless people to escape, how difficult it can be to break from tradition, how aspirations to a better life can sometimes be turned against you. Ewoodzie’s book is a layered portrait of race and class in the South.
Layered portraits are sort of his specialty. As a sociology professor at Davidson College, he forces students to look closely at the world around them — and he pushes them to help change it.
He’s an immigrant in more ways than one: He grew up in Ghana and studied in the Northeast and Midwest before coming South. He’s here by choice. And he’s trying to both understand the South and make it better.
- "Getting Something To Eat In Jackson"
- Ewoodzie's faculty page at Davidson College
- His earlier book, "Break Beats in the Bronx"
Other music in this episode
Paddington Bear, "Blue Highway" and "Smooth Actor"