Avid Bookshop presents Ashanté M. Reese for her book, Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. This event will take place on Thursday, June 13, 2019, from 6:30-7:30pm at our Prince Avenue location and is free and open to the public. We encourage you to purchase a copy of the book to get it signed by the author!

You can purchase this event book online from Avid Bookshop here


In this book, Ashanté M. Reese makes clear the structural forces that determine food access in urban areas, highlighting Black residents' navigation of and resistance to unequal food distribution systems. Linking these local food issues to the national problem of systemic racism, Reese examines the history of the majority-Black Deanwood neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, Dr. Reese not only documents racism and residential segregation in the nation's capital but also tracks the ways transnational food corporations have shaped food availability. By connecting community members' stories to the larger issues of racism and gentrification, Reese shows there are hundreds of Deanwoods across the country.

Reese's geographies of self-reliance offer an alternative to models that depict Black residents as lacking agency, demonstrating how an ethnographically grounded study can locate and amplify nuances in how Black life unfolds within the context of unequal food access.


Ashanté M. Reese teaches at Spelman College. She completed her Doctorate in anthropology (with a specialization in race, gender, and social justice) at American University in 2015 where she also earned a Masters in Public Anthropology in 2013. Her dissertation, Groceries and Gardens: Race, Place, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. is an ethnographic exploration of food access and community building in a D.C. neighborhood. In addition to her food studies work, Dr. Reese has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Baltimore, MD, during which she interviewed aging Baltimore residents about their Diabetes care an management to ascertain similarities and differences across race, gender, and class.

From creating artwork to becoming “participant-observers,” students in her courses are encouraged to be reflective, creative, and “outside the box” thinkers. Dr. Reese encourages students to re-imagine anthropology beyond its narrow depictions in popular imagination and to make concrete connections between theory, practice, and students’ lived experiences.

Event date: 
Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm

Event Location

Black Food Geographies: Race, Self-Reliance, and Food Access in Washington, D.C. Cover Image
ISBN: 9781469651507
Availability: In our warehouse - should ship in 5-7 business days.
Published: University of North Carolina Press - April 29th, 2019