Colorado author looks at deep history of African Americans in the White House kitchen

DENVER -- A Colorado author is giving readers insight into what has been fueling our presidents since 1776.

Adrian Miller is the brains behind The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas. The book looks at life in the White House kitchen from the viewpoint of those who have cooked for the presidents, their families, their staff and guests.

“Food is often a lens for how we perceive the president,” Miller told Anne Trujillo on this week’s Politics Unplugged.  “If they eat a lot of foreign food or are kinda snooty about it, we think that’s what the president is like.”

Miller says many of those who served food, also served as inspiration for equal rights laws, like Zephyr Wright, the long time cook for President Lyndon B. Johnson’s family.

“Her Jim Crowe experiences with the Johnsons as they would drive from Texas to the White House back and forth, she would not be able to go to the bathroom or eat with the family,” Miller said. “So President Johnson used those stories to persuade Congress to support the 1964 Civil Rights Act.”

The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, From the Washingtons to the Obamas, is available at area bookstores and online.

Miller has a background in politics. He served as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton during his time in office and was once a policy analyst for former Colorado governor Bill Ritter.

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Politics Unplugged airs Sundays at 4 p.m. on Denver7.

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