Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

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Stumping and Eating at Showman’s Café in Harlem

Black Bean soup, recipe below
I'm taking a look at the New York City mayoral race through the lens of food. I recently completed a book on black Latino coalitions in New York City and came across sources describing the role of food in the mayor’s race. In 1989 Democrats David Dinkins ran against Republican Rudy Giuliani. During the campaign Dinkins stumped at Showman’s Café located at 2324 Frederick Douglass Boulevard between 124th and 125th Street in Central Harlem in 1989. Opened in 1942, Showman’s was better known as one of Harlem's top jazz spots where one could hear artists such as Eartha Kitt, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday perform. It was also a place where the writer James Baldwin could be seen working on a manuscript. Showman’s also had a top chef with a great reputation for his chicken bites and black bean soup.

Stumping and Eating at Sylvia's in Harlem

Eating While Poor in the Mississippi Delta