Arkansas PBS > Engage > Pressroom > Community Cinema returns with free advance screening of ‘Soul Food Junkies’ in Fayetteville Jan. 13

Community Cinema returns with free advance screening of ‘Soul Food Junkies’ in Fayetteville Jan. 13

Posted 26 Feb 2013

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), Fayetteville Public Library and KUAF 91.3FM invite the public to a free advance screening of “Soul Food Junkies” as part of Community Cinema Sunday, Jan. 13, at 2 p.m. in the library, 401 West Mountain Street.

In “Soul Food Junkies,” filmmaker Byron Hurt sets out on a historical and culinary journey to learn more about the soul food tradition and its relevance to black cultural identity. Hurt’s exploration was inspired by his father’s lifelong love affair with high-fat, calorie-rich, traditional soul food and his unwillingness to give it up – even in the face of a life-threatening health crisis. Hurt discovers that dishes like ribs, grits and fried chicken are culturally based, deep-rooted, complex and often deadly.

Through candid interviews with soul food cooks, historians and scholars, as well as with doctors, family members, and everyday people, “Soul Food Junkies” puts this culinary tradition under the microscope to examine both its positive and negative consequences. Hurt also explores the socioeconomic conditions in predominantly black neighborhoods where it can be difficult to find healthy options. He meets some pioneers in the emerging food justice movement who are challenging the food industry, encouraging communities to “go back to the land” by creating sustainable and eco-friendly gardens, advocating for healthier options in local supermarkets, supporting local farmers' markets, avoiding highly processed fast foods, and cooking healthier versions of traditional soul food.

A community discussion will follow the screening. Additional information is available by calling AETN at 800-662-2386 or visiting

“Soul Food Junkies” will air on AETN Monday, Jan. 14, at 9 p.m.

Community Cinema, a free monthly screening series engaging communities through films produced by the Independent Television Service (ITVS), features monthly screenings followed by panel discussions with leading organizations, local communities and special guest speakers. The program is designed to help people learn about and get involved in the social issues raised in the documentaries.

The Fayetteville Public Library’s mission is to strengthen the community, empower citizens with free and public access to knowledge, inspire imagination, foster learning, be powerfully relevant and be completely accessible. Additional information is available at