Purity, Soul Food, and Sunni Islam: Explorations at the Intersection of Consumption and Resistance

Carolyn Rouse, Janet Hoskins

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    1 Scopus citations


    Paul Robeson Park in Los Angeles County was often the designated location for Eid al-Fitr, the obligatory group prayer and celebration following Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. 1 Families, predominantly African American, would begin arriving around 7:00 am dressed in their best Eid clothing. Well before the crowd began to trickle in, plastic tarps would be positioned in straight rows so that the salat (prayer) could be performed facing the Ka’aba in Mecca. 2 Following the prayer and khutbah (lecture), the community would hold a celebration that included music, kiosks, and food. While the prayer and lecture usually lasted an hour, the gatherings on the blankets, which included talking and eating, would last up to five hours. At one Eid, I was situated among three cowives who were enjoying one another’s company on several large blankets. 3 Also within the group were Safa, Hafiza, one of the few women who veils, and Fatima, a single mother and engineering student at a local state college. The picnic area was clearly a gendered space, although occasionally a husband would wander by and eat a piece of chicken or a plate of salad. The exchange between husband and wife, or wives, would usually last no longer than five minutes at which point he would find his way back to his group of male cohorts.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationTaking Food Public
    Subtitle of host publicationRedefining Foodways in a Changing World
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Electronic)9781134726271
    ISBN (Print)9780415888547
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • General Social Sciences


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