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THE QUESTION OF DINNER: A CONVERSATION WITH TUNDE WEY

“I do this to investigate complicity and interrogate white supremacy,” Tunde Wey said on a Monday night in October, standing on a chair before a dinner crowd of fifty-plus at Second Line, a midtown Memphis po-boy shop decorated with pictures of New Orleans brass bands. He emigrated from Nigeria to the U.S. on a visitor visa, which he later adjusted to student status. Now thirty-four, Tunde talks openly of his current undocumented status and broadcasts a keen command of structural racism theory.

—John T. Edge, “The Question of Dinner”


John T. Edge, the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, has served as an Oxford American food columnist since 1997; under the shingle “Local Fare,” he interrogates trends, profiles innovative figures, and upends assumptions (sometimes his own previous assumptions) with passion, style, and intelligence. In his latest column, “The Question of Dinner,” he attends one of Tunde Wey’s Blackness in America dinners in Memphis and explores how restaurants can serve as “lyceums where social and political changes gestate.”

For this video, filmmaker Ethan Payne interviewed Edge and Wey in Memphis, along with Chef Kelly English, the proprietor of Second Line, and Zandria F. Robinson, who helped lead the guided conversation.


Credits:
Camera/Sound/Edit: Ethan Payne
Produced with funding from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts
Special Thanks: John T. Edge, Tunde Wey, Kelly English, and Zandria F. Robinson
 
For more, read “The Question of Dinner” by John T. Edge, published in the Spring 2018 issue.