Talking Points


  • Separated by 1,000 miles and a few years, tells stories of Cleo Silvers and Aylene Quin using food as a weapon for political and social change. Their stories intersect by the end of the book in surprising ways.

  • Tells the history of local activists in early 1960s voting rights and civil rights efforts in, arguably, the most racist state of the country - Mississippi - and links this work to SNCC activists in Freedom Summer of 1964 and to the survival programs run, primarily, by the women of the Black Panther Party - and their lasting legacy.

  • Discusses the history and power of community organizing and mutual aid (and its difference from “charity”) -  terms brought to public attention during the pandemic, and long practiced by women, and critical sources of support in communities of color.

  • Integrates dozens of interviews to recreate scenes to present a readable history of the Black Freedom Movement, with a focus on these female leaders and others who have long been footnotes to history.

  • Uses archival sources to also tell the story of how the government - both the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission and the FBI  - used illegal tactics to undermine, attack, imprison and even kill activists to uphold their grip on power. 

  • Illustrates the power of food: to connect people, demonstrate political and social values, support communities to enact broader change -  and even to oppress vulnerable groups when used by governments and those in power.

  • Seamlessly integrates into the true narrative ideas by Black women scholars on leadership, interpreting how acts of feeding and nurturing were integral to change, and how their power has been underrecognized during the Black Freedom Movement.

  • Also discusses little-known history of armed Black resistance, voting rights efforts, and community health care.

  • Connects these stories to efforts today - providing a model for present activists and historic context for issues that persist. 

POWER HUNGRY deals with themes of feminism, intersectionality, Black female leadership, food as a tool for social and political change, voter suppression, voting rights, activism, Black Freedom Movement, civil rights era, Black Panther Party, Black Power, among others...

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