On Exhibit at Stages of Freedom

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America’s First Black Cookbook 


Robert Roberts, The House Servant’s Directory, (1827), is the first cookbook by a Black person ever published in American. Filled with recipes, cooking advice, and a window into the diverse world of African-American cuisine, this extremely rare book will be on display at Stages of Freedom, 10 Westminster Street, Providence, for a limited time, Wednesday, April 17 through Sunday, April 21, 12- 5 pm, free and open to the public.


For more information visit: StagesofFreedom/roberts or call (401) 421-0606.


Also on exhibit will be “The American Colored Waiter” by John B. Goins (1902), a pocket-sized handbook for Black waiters during the Gilded Age, and images of Black caterers from Newport, including George T. Downing and the Allen Brothers. 


Robert Roberts wrote the book in Waltham, MA while employed by Massachusetts governor Christopher Gore.


It is filled with instructions for buying, preparing, and serving food and drink for dinner parties of all sizes, and recipes for currant jam, raspberry vinegar, lemonade, cod’s head, a haunch of venison, and a leg of mutton.


Come view this amazing, rare book during this short exhibit.