This slim book aims to make readers aware “of the small but vibrant array of professionally trained African American nutritionists in this country” by offering six mini-memoirs of women who excelled in the field.
Each of the African American women in Six Eves Prevail through the Garden of Nutrition relied heavily upon the guidance of family, teachers and peers to achieve their goals, and each believes that her life may serve as an exemplar for those following after. “Always reach back to help others,” states Annie Carr in her chapter, succinctly expressing what each woman elaborates on in her own disparate section, making clear that this book is a way of reaching back.
All of the women are highly accomplished. Their many distinctions range from serving as president of the Central Dietetic Association (Carr) to director of New York City’s State Office of Nutrition (Catherine Cowell) to associate director of Medical Nutrition at Ross Laboratories (Wilma Kirchhofer).
Each woman’s narrative is a story of surmounting obstacles, including poverty, racism and sexism, through hard work and professionalism. They also offer some of their favorite recipes, and a three-page section at the end of the book details “Five Ways to Become a Dietitian Nutritionist.”
The chapters range in length from 8 pages to 40. As a result of such brevity, some of the individual stories suffer from a lack of detail in places. Vernell Britton, for instance, mentions the rewarding results of the Atlanta Project, but does not elaborate on them. Cowell served on the Educational Advisory Council, National Livestock and Meat Board, but doesn’t describe the experience.
Still, those looking for a career as a nutritionist will find inspiration here. While the book is too short to fully depict the lives of these women, it presents an uplifting account of what can be done with a career choice and a determination to succeed.
Also available as an ebook.