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Professor of History and Foodways


Frederick Douglass Opie is a thought leader on teaching with technology, coalitions and social movements, and food traditions.  He has been a Fellow at The W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard, an author, contributor on radio and television, and the editor of a food and history blog.  He is completing a biography and a movement study through the lens of food for multiple platforms.  Opie's most recent book is Upsetting the Apple Cart: Black and Latino Coalitions in New York From Protest to Public Office (Columbia University Press, 2014) which looks at the history of black-Latino coalitions in New York City during the years of 1959 to 1989.  This is a story which highlights largely unknown agents of historic change in the city and the noted politicians, political strategist, and union leaders whose careers are built on this history.  It is a story that delves into the role that food plays in social movements with representative recipes from the U. S. south and the Caribbean planted throughout.

Appetite City: Soul Food

Host William Grimes takes a journey back in time to the glory days of Harlem when he explores the origins and evolution of “Soul Food.” At a favorite local restaurant he speaks with soul food expert and author Frederick Douglass Opie and later has our historic gastronomist whip up a soul food favorite. Then viewers can join award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson at his newest Harlem-based restaurant where he’s putting a whole new spin on this down-home favorite.


The Splendid Table

Fred Opie Talks About Food and Music on the Splendid Table: Listen Now [8 min]

The Splendid TablePhoto credit: Marion Post Wolcott / Library of Congress


Ph.D., History, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
B.S., Education, Syracuse University

Academic Division

Areas of Expertise





Food As a LensFrederick Douglass Opie, Food As A Lens, on Facebook Follow Dr Fred D Opie on Twitter
Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America
Buy the book Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America from