West Oakland Soul Food Cookbook

Oakland: Peter Maurin Neighborhood House, Circa 1960s. First Edition. An illustrated soul food cookbook produced for a fundraiser by the Peter Maurin Neighborhood House, a volunteer-run, Catholic soup kitchen, homeless shelter, and recreation center located at 1486 Seventh Street in Oakland, California.

Founded in 1963, the Peter Maurin House was named after French Catholic social activist Peter Maurin, founder of the Christian anarchist Catholic Worker Movement. The center grew throughout the ensuing years, launching a number of community projects, including a co-op nursery, a book club, and a home rehabilitation program for low-income community members.

The cookbook created by the group, likely sometime in the mid-1960s, presents a variety of recipes contributed by community members, ranging in origin but mostly rooted in southern cuisine—likely attributable to the large influx of African Americans in Oakland who arrived in the Bay Area as part of the Second Great Migration from the southern states during the 1940s and 1950s. The cookbook also includes four individual recipe pages laid in, two with the logo of Black History Festival at the top edge, as well as a typescript index card with a recipe for cornbread.

8.5 x 11 inches. 24 leaves, with text on rectos and versos. About Very Good, with side stapled wrappers, moderately edgeworn, with a small chip on the heel and a short closed tear on the spine that has been partially repaired with cello tape.

[Book #157438]