The Moral Meal: The Dietary Habits of West African Immigrants in the U.S.

Alfredo Rojas


In this article I would like to describe how West African immigrants in Atlanta, GA maintain their African diets depending on the gendered, moral relationships they engage in. In West Africa, women usually cook food for their families while men perform other chores like farming or hunting. Women continue to cook for their families and friends when they move abroad. In the U.S., West African immigrants depend on mass-produced African foods sold at African markets nearest to them in their new homes. Using my ethnographic research in Atlanta, I will attempt to explain how men and women maintain their dietary habits by engaging in moral and gendered relationships with each other. I will also describe what I observed at local West African food markets in Atlanta and how men and women rely on these stores to replicate and transform aspects of their West African lives.


religion, gender, food, diet, West African, Altanta

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