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Jim Thompson
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2016
76 posts

John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance


jbgleason
LSU Fan
BTR, suck it all you haters
Member since Mar 2012
13872 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
That article is behind a subscription wall. Either quote the relevant parts into your post or link an article we can read.

Unless you are a bot or paid shill trying to get people to subscribe to that website.
This post was edited on 6/30 at 10:15 am


Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
8115 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
I've seen some twitter exchanges between Edge and an AA fellow. I dont know what the issue is but Edge seemed to rational, the other guy's exchanges were not.

Looks like he is being persecuted for being white


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
28733 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

Looks like he is being persecuted for being white


Shocking.


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74
hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11105 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
This is not as simple as it seems on the surface. John T has headed the org for 20 years—he exerts a great deal of control over a group that, in some ways, centers its existence as a platform for leveraging his personal brand. I’m hoping he will care more about the future of the group than about hanging on to power.

I’m a member, have attended some of their events over 15+ years, and I can tell you from direct personal experience that the org is a closed circle in very many ways.


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
28733 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

They say he is a kingmaker. They say he is a white man — however charming — who has too much power over who tells the story of food in a region where so much of the cuisine was created by enslaved people.



So forget what all he's done for southern cooking and the people involved with it. Since he's white and promoting what is now "black food", I guess he'll have to step away. It's absolute INSANITY.


ETA: My favorite WTF is this shite quote from the entire article.

quote:

“What we have is a middle-aged man who like so many progressive Southerners has wrestled with the demons of his white Southern past and used that to help build a better South,” said Marcie Cohen Ferris, 63, a former board president and a professor emeritus of American studies at the University of North Carolina. “The reconciliation stance is no longer going to work in this nation. It’s about economics and justice. This is it. This is the moment.”


Reparations. Bottom line.

This post was edited on 6/30 at 10:43 am


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112
Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
8115 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

the org is a closed circle


To be fair I know little about SFA. Are people upset that he purposefully neglects certain cultural or ethnic food? If so, do you care to express what he's turning a blind eye or actively neglecting?

Are people proposing that there is employment discrimination or something?

I'm sure the article might cover it but I don't pay for that subscription and it's not clear what the argument is


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
28733 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

To be fair I know little about SFA. Are people upset that he purposefully neglects certain cultural or ethnic food? If so, do you care to express what he's turning a blind eye or actively neglecting?



quote:

For years, Mr. Edge has been listening, and remained in his position at the top.

“I will listen hard and with as much intensity as I can,” he said recently. “Out of a moment of stern and righteous critique comes a better organization. The work we’ve done over the last 20 years is work that is true to our mission, work that despite flaws that I may see and others may see is intended to make progress and make positive change in a region I have always loved and sometimes hate.”


This seems to have more to do with the fact that he's white and promoting black, southern food. He's culturally appropriated it and used it to better himself. Time for him to absolve himself of his sins and turn this shite over to a black woman.


Saskwatch
Ole Miss Fan
Member since Feb 2016
8115 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

This seems to have more to do with the fact that he's white and promoting black, southern food


Got it. Thanks. I think the take is pretty narrow minded from those calling for his head.

For instance do any of the revered fried chicken joints pay any homage to the Scots?

It's all Southern with muli-ethnic influence. To focus solely on one originator would be disingenuous.


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51
hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11105 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

This seems to have more to do with the fact that he's white and promoting black, southern food. He's culturally appropriated it and used it to better himself. Time for him to absolve himself of his sins and turn this shite over to a black woman.

No, you’re projecting a particular personal POV onto a complex issue. It is not as simple as black and white, pun intended. Another strand of the larger story is about organizations becoming too strongly identified with a single personality, or dominated by a certain person’s preferences and leanings. Nonprofit boards and founders deal with succession planning all the time—he’s hung on, and on, despite years of discussion and talking around the topic. I can only speculate as to why—perhaps the prestige of title at a job that doesn’t cut into his freelance writing is a sweet thing and he doesn’t want to give it up? Nonprofits are not like private businesses....the enterprise shouldn’t collapse without you, and the mission should come before the ego.

The SFA has done some interesting documentary and oral history work, but not nearly as much as you’d expect after 20 years. Over the years, more than a few board members have tried to move it in different directions....yet it remains the have-a-good-time at annual gatherings kind of thing, with a pretty narrow base of support. Toni Tipton Martin, Ronni Lundy, and a whole bunch of very solid food scholars and writers have called for him to move on....not just in this “culture moment”, but for a while now.

Life lesson: don’t get too comfortable, listen to your critics, and don’t overstay in a job. He could have been director emeritus five years ago with no adverse impact to reputation....instead, he’s looking at all this. Life lesson 2: if your org’s membership and staff don’t reflect the people you purport to be celebrating and including, you might need to do some work. If a LA foodways group had zero ethnic or cultural cajuns, I’d level the same criticism.


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Mo Jeaux
LSU Fan
NYC
Member since Aug 2008
41167 posts
 Online 

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

Ronni Lundy


Called on him to move on because he didn’t focus on women enough.


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SSpaniel
Memphis Fan
Germantown
Member since Feb 2013
25463 posts
 Online 

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

. Toni Tipton Martin, Ronni Lundy, and a whole bunch of very solid food scholars and writers have called for him to move on....not just in this “culture moment”, but for a while now.


Seems to me that if they don't like him in his role, they could start their own organization, rather than trying to change his.


Aubie Spr96
Utah Fan
lolwut?
Member since Dec 2009
28733 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
I appreciate what you are saying, but no where in that article did I read any of what you are insinuating. Organizations need to change at points and leadership certainly needs refreshing, but NONE of that is in the article posted.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11105 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
Toni did create a symposium, and a foundation to focus on issues most important to her.

Re:article, yes, it wasn’t super in depth. Which is why I offered additional info. News stories rarely are long enough to capture the nuances.
This post was edited on 6/30 at 11:38 am


Mo Jeaux
LSU Fan
NYC
Member since Aug 2008
41167 posts
 Online 

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

Seems to me that if they don't like him in his role, they could start their own organization, rather than trying to change his.


That’s not conducive to grifting.
This post was edited on 6/30 at 11:36 am


Mo Jeaux
LSU Fan
NYC
Member since Aug 2008
41167 posts
 Online 

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

Toni did create a symposium, and a foundation to focus on issues most important to her.



Is she being open to other voices? Seems like she shouldn’t be able to focus only on things that are important to her.

And downvoting people is childish.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
11105 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

That’s not conducive to grifting.


Look, I wielded a pry bar and swung a hammer for more than a few hours rebuilding Willie Mae’s Scotch House with the SFA after Katrina. To accuse all of his critics of being grifters is 100% inaccurate. I know many of the players personally.


rsb831
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2007
358 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
quote:

a pretty narrow base of support

That narrow base has provided the funding for the "interesting documentary and oral history work" and all the other expenses. Who do you think raised that money? Without John T there would be no SFA as it exists today. His hard work and charm (and bro-ness) brought in the dollars. 13 million of the them over 20 years.

For a non-profit executive, fundraising is the number one priority. Finding a foodways academic with that skill set will be difficult. To limit candidates to African-American females will virtually impossible. If a change is made, I hope the new director is successful. But I'm not optimistic.


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31
scott8811
LSU Fan
Ratchet City, LA
Member since Oct 2014
5951 posts
 Online 

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
As much as I wanted to love the show "True South", Edge makes me cringe. His Faulkner wanna be style of narrating drives me up a wall....that being said I always thought he did an awesome job of painting a really complete ethnic picture of the South. I really don't understand this


OldHickory
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Apr 2012
6064 posts

re: John T. Edge Under Fire At Southern Foodways Alliance
Organizations like this are usually filled with people with huge egos.


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