Thank You Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain thank you for being a modern day Upton Sinclair, a culinary muckraker. Thank you for being like Malcolm X and James Baldwin writing clearly about absurdities and injustices that others refused to discuss. Thank you Anthony Bourdain for hosting a food show that we could learn from watching instead more food porn and bread and circus that contributes to more of us consuming less of us critically thinking about what's happening to the world around us. I enjoyed your shows on cable tv and Netflix and shared excerpts as part of the food history courses I teach because they are excellent documentaries—I suggest your shows and spot on voice overs on the Congo, Massachusetts, and most recently West Virginia just to name a few. As a professor at Massachusetts based Babson College, I particularly enjoyed the episode on the state and how you embedded yourself in the opioid riddled sections. Thank you Anthony Bourdain for your courage and authenticity in sharing about your own struggles with heroin addiction. The episode is raw, real, and calls for an overdue revolutionary change in US drug policy similar to what Michelle Alexander writes about in her book the New Jim Crow. I am praying for your family, friends, and colleagues that are hurting from your tragic departure. I am saddened that I can’t enjoy more of your work. But thank you Anthony Bourdain for what you created that we can enjoy for many years to come.
Fred Opie, Professor of history and foodways, Babson College