New episode is available in the Hagley History Hangout—In this episode, Gregory Hargreaves interviews Danya Pilgrim about her book project “Gastronomic Alchemy: How Black Philadelphia Caterers Transformed Taste into Capital, 1790-1925.” In support of her research, Pilgrim, assistant professor at Temple University, received exploratory and Henry Belin du Pont research grants from the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, & Society.
In “Gastronomic Alchemy,” Pilgrim reveals the development and efflorescence of a Philadelphia catering industry owned and operated by African American waiters, brokers, cooks, & others. Through their work, black caterers earned economic success and cultural influence in Philadelphia that combined to form meaningful capital, which helped to create and support a vibrant black community. By uncovering this process of capital formation, Dr. Pilgrim “illuminates how one group of African Americans fought for self-determination in every aspect of their lives.”
Interview available at https://www.hagley.org/research/history-hangout-danya-pilgrim.
Recorded on Zoom and available anywhere once they are released, our History Hangouts include interviews with authors of books and other researchers who have use of our collections, and members of Hagley staff with their special knowledge of what we have in our stacks. We began the History Hangouts earlier this summer and now are releasing programs every two weeks on alternate Mondays. Our series is part of the Hagley from Home initiative by the Hagley Museum and Library. The schedule for upcoming episodes, as well as those already released, is available at https://www.hagley.org/hagley-history-hangout.