Skip to main content

Rikki Byrd

Rikki is a writer, educator, and curator with research interests in Black studies, performance studies, fashion studies and art history. She has written for Teen Vogue, Artsy, and Hyperallergic, among several other media outlets. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in African American Studies at Northwestern University.

Rikki Byrd's Articles


The Ebony test kitchen. (Photo: Francis Dzikowski. Courtesy the Museum of Food and Drink.)

In Manhattan, an Exhibition Honoring How Black Food Traditions Shaped What America Eats

In 1972, the new headquarters for Johnson Publishing Company debuted in the pages of Ebony magazine. Its interior was replete with the design trends of the new decade: a color palette of orange, brown, and yellow in a variety of patterns, complemented by an art collection of nearly 200 works by Black artists. Every inch of the building was considered, including the Ebony test kitchen, a groovy, all-electric room that was then considered one of the most modern in the United States. The kitchen was used to test the many recipes that Ebony published in its monthly issues, which not only highlighted dishes that their readers should try at home, but also celebrated Black cooks, chefs, and other food-world figures.