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Remote Rap Sessions – Lena Richard: America’s Unknown Celebrity Chef

Friday, January 22, 2021 @ 11:00 am 12:00 pm

Register for the Zoom discussion.

The selection for the seventh session of TRLN’s Remote Rap Sessions will be about the Sidedoor podcast episode Lena Richard: America’s Unknown Celebrity Chef (32 minutes). Registration helps with our planning and is much appreciated. You can register before and during the discussion and will receive the meeting link as soon as you register.

When Lena Richard cooked her first chicken on television, she beat Julia Child to the screen by over a decade. At a time when most African American women cooks worked behind swinging kitchen doors, Richard claimed her place as a culinary authority, broadcasting in the living rooms of New Orleans’s elite white families. She was an entrepreneur, educator, author, and an icon—and her legacy lives on in her recipes.

Joining as co-facilitators of this session will be Marylène Altieri, Curator of Published and Printed Materials, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University; Katryna Robinson, Executive Assistant to the Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian & Vice Provost for Library Affairs, Duke University Libraries; Theodosia Shields, Director of Library Services, North Carolina Central University; Lucy Vanderkamp, Research Services Associate, Rubenstein Research Services, Duke University Libraries; and Ashley Rose Young, Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Please reach out to if you have any questions. We hope you can join us!

Discussion Questions

  1. What’s one thing you found interesting about the episode?
  2. What surprised you about Lena Richard’s story?
  3. What are some of the challenges that Richard faced?
  4. What aspects of Richard’s life and career do you want to learn more details about?
  5. If you could ask Richard a question about her lived experiences, what would you ask her?
  6. In what ways is Richard’s story relevant to our current moment?

McKenna Lakin