Volunteer historians publish digitized version of “The People’s Philadelphia Cookbook” from 1976

A piece of Bread & Roses history resurfaced recently in an unlikely place — Twitter. It started when Stephanie McKellop, a historian and archivist, found a cookbook at a flea market in West Philadelphia. It was called “The People’s Philadelphia Cookbook” and it had been published in 1976 by The People’s Fund, the predecessor to Bread & Roses. The cookbooks had been sold for $5 each to raise funds that would go to grassroots organizing for racial, social, and economic justice.

McKellop and her partner, David Ryskalczyk, carefully deconstructed the book’s binding, scanned every page, and put it back together. McKellop released the digitized version on Twitter to an enthusiastic response.

Stephanie McKellop, center, and David Ryskalcyzk, right, deliver the cookbook to Bread & Roses’ director of communications & development, Caitlin Quigley, left.

Writer Reina Gattuso saw the post and was struck by how much the 44-year old cookbook was resonating with people today. Gattuso wrote a piece about the cookbook for Atlas Obscura. She says:

It’s a record of an optimistic era, when activists believed that the elimination of racism, homophobia, and capitalism was just around the corner. While the revolution would not be televised, it would certainly be well-fed.

You can explore the full cookbook below or at archive.org.

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