TV shows that teach us more about American History
I genuinely miss Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. A show on CNN showed up parts of the world many of us didn’t get the chance to know or visit in our lifetimes. His passing left a big hole in what we could learn about the world. As someone who didn’t grow up in the US, it also taught me about where I live.
In the years since, TV shows about food have touched on American history and parts of this country that we don’t know. If you’re interested in food and finding out about American history you didn’t get taught in school; I can’t recommend these shows enough:
- Taste the Nation on Hulu. Taste the Nation, hosted by Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi covers food and culture in different cities.
- No Passport Required on PBS or Prime. Chef Marcus Samuelsson shines the light on immigrant communities in the US through food.
- Take Out on HBOmax is hosted by Lisa Ling and covers the food and culture of Asian-Americans and multiple generations of them, and grasps a unique part of the immigrant experience: how different it is for each generation, even within families.
- High on Hog on Netflix details African American cuisine—something we should all learn more about.
- And—while not a food show—W. Kamau Bell’s United Shades of America on CNN, which follows racial and political conflicts around the United States. At the time of writing, this show airs every Sunday night.
And on the subject of race in America, W. Kamau Bell’s new book, Doing The Work, along with Katie Schatz, is an excellent workbook for personal work on anti-racism. This is a pivotal book, and everyone should buy it. Trust me.
I hope these show you something new about the US and its history. It’s a crucial time to ensure history, in its entirety, is shared.