The book “Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning” (2019) by Rafia Zafar, professor of English and of African-American studies, both in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is featured in a new exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of the New York Public Library. “Made at NYPL” highlights a small but representative sample of original works that were produced using the library’s resources.
“Recipes for Respect” traces how black Americans, over the last 200 years, have shaped the nation’s gastronomical heritage. It includes a chapter on an uncompleted cookbook by the legendary activist and bibliophile Arturo Schomburg, whose vast personal archives would later form the basis for the NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Zafar, a native New Yorker, first explored the center’s holdings as a graduate student at Columbia University, while researching Harlem Renaissance author Jessie Fauset.
“Made at NYPL” remains on view through July 3, 2020, in the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rayner Special Collections Wing. For more information, visit nypl.org.