We’ve all heard the statistics regarding Americans and fast food. According to the National Health and Nutrition Survey, one third of Americans consumed fast food on any given day. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the fast food industry employed nearly 3.8 million Americans, many in minimum wage jobs.
Not everyone has the same relationship with fast food. In this episode, we speak with Marcia Chatelain about the dramatic impact one fast food company, McDonald’s, has had on black communities and black politics over the last half century. In doing so, she provides us with fresh insight on the relationship between fast food, race, and American capitalism.
Marcia Chatelain is a Provost’s Distinguished Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America and South Side Girls: Growing Up in the Great Migration.