PBS Airing Soul Food Junkies This Month
As part of their Independent Lens series, PBS will be airing an independent documentary titled Soul Food Junkies throughout the month. The film, produced by Byron Hurt, explores food habits and traditions of African-Americans, and the subsequent health effects on the community.
There has been a growing list of documentaries in recent years, from Food Inc to Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead ,which address the unhealthy eating habits of the average American. This is the first that I know of which focuses exclusively on soul food. The soul food controversy is often poked around in pop-culture like in the Boondocks episode “The Itis. But this is typically done in a comedic fashion. Soul Food Junkies ponders questions surrounding the traditional African-American diet in a more serious and direct manner.
Here’s an excerpt of a press release from PBS that sums up the film’s quest quite well:
Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians, and scholars, as well as doctors, family members, and everyday people, Soul Food Junkies reveals how the American culinary tradition of “southern” food began in West Africa, spread throughout the Americas during slavery, and was coined “soul food” in the late 1960s during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. The film also shows how the profit-driven fast food and processed-food industry, have replaced traditional home cooked meals more and more.
Watch the trailer below and see if the film looks interesting. If so, enter your zip code here to find airing times for your local PBS station.