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Virtual talk to explore “The Whole Okra” with author Chris Smith Nov. 9

Join the conversation about all things okra during Delta State University’s “Okra Talk” featuring award-winning author and expert okra enthusiast Chris Smith as part of the Fall 2020 Virtual Homecoming Celebration.

Sponsored by the DSU Alumni Association and the DSU Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the free virtual event is set to kick-off at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, via Zoom.

Participants will join a talk centered around Smith’s book, “The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration.”

Described as “a lighthearted but information-rich collection of okra history, lore, recipes, craft projects, growing advice, and more,” the book specifically references DSU’s Fighting Okra in Chapter 4, entitled “Pod of the Gods.”

“I didn’t grow up eating okra, but when I moved to America eight years ago, I quickly fell in love with it,” shared Smith, a 2020 James Beard award-winning author.

“I think okra is an incredible plant with a lot to offer but is misunderstood by so many people, I’m just glad we have a ‘fighting okra’ on our side in case diplomacy fails. It didn’t take long after I went public with my okra book project that people began emailing me about the Fighting Okra, and I can’t think of a better subversive mascot, than a divisive vegetable.”

Individuals who register to attend the virtual event will be eligible for fun giveaways, including a yearlong subscription to “okra.” magazine, pickled okra from Off the Vine and the Cleveland Farmers Market, and DSU Fighting Okra gear.

Copies of “The Whole Okra: A Seed to Stem Celebration” are available for purchase at the DSU Barnes & Noble Bookstore as well as the Cotton Row Bookstore in downtown Cleveland.

To register for the “Okra Talk” virtual event, visit