Community Read 2023

closeup of 3 colorful books about food on the floor in front of a plant with red and green foliage

A Celebration of Foodways and Culture

We celebrated the tenth year of the Community Read with a look at how food connects people—especially for special moments—and how food connects to the world of plants and gardening.

Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora

Edited and curated by Bryant Terry

An exuberant celebration of foodways and culture, Black Food is a beautiful, fun read of powerful essays, stunning visual art, and delicious recipes focusing on the culinary histories of the African diaspora. As shared by Terry, “like Black people, this book contains multitudes.” With recipes as the through line, discover expert cooking insight, inspiration, and stories as told by brilliant chefs in this thought-provoking selection that explores themes from spirit to migrations to Black future.

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Cooking Demo

Watch as Executive Chef Ramin Coles from the Sweet Home Café at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture cooks up two recipes from our 2023 Community Read title Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes from Across the African Diaspora.


The Comic Book Guide to Growing Food

By Joseph Tychonievich
Illustrated by Liz Anna Kozik

In this graphic novel guide discover how to grow a successful vegetable garden, from planning, prepping, and planting to troubleshooting, care, and harvesting. This engaging selection is the story of Mia, an eager young professional who wants to grow her own vegetables but doesn’t know where to start, and George, her retired neighbor-turned-gardening-mentor who walks her through each step of the process. This is a terrific supplement to the adult title and will help eager adult learners begin to explore growing food themselves.

Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You a Pie: A Story About Edna Lewis

By Robbin Gourley

In this picture book for our youngest readers, trace the childhood roots of this revered chef’s appreciation for the bounties of nature as Edna and her family gather fruits, berries, and vegetables from their Virginia farm and turn them into wonderful meals. The book includes facts about the life of Edna Lewis, a descendant of slaves who grew up to be a famous chef, and five kid-friendly recipes.

a person with a white hat and blue shirt smiles at the camera

From Our Blog

A Conversation with Author Bryant Terry

By Brittany Long, on March 1, 2023

Author Bryant Terry's purpose was not to just create another cookbook, but to curate a body of art, music, and written word that celebrates Black culture.