As an adult I have lived and worked in eleven different states—New York, Massachusetts, Florida, New Mexico, Montana, California, Tennessee, Georgia, Iowa, Arizona, and now Mississippi. These circumstances often placed me in contact with African Americans as neighbors, members of the same labor crew, working in restaurants, and now university colleagues. The first interaction between a black man and a white man is one of mutual evaluation: does the other guy hate my guts? The white guy—me—is worried that after generations of repression and mistreatment, will this black guy take his anger out on me because I’m white? And the black guy is wondering if I am one more racist asshole he can’t turn his back on. This period of reconnaissance typically doesn’t last long because both parties know the covert codes the other uses—the avoidance of touch, the averted eyes, a posture of hostility. Once each man is satisfied that the other guy is all right, connections begin to occur. Those connections are always based on class. And class translates to food.