The Salt Eaters is Toni Cade Bambara’s first novel. It’s about a woman choosing to heal herself in community with the friends and family around her. That sounded simple enough to me (Jan) when I started reading the book, but I quickly found it to be a slow, non-linear, heavy, funny and sometimes confusing story.
It made no sense to me at first, but with the help of Belinda Waller Peterson I realized that The Salt Eaters reflects the real life process of healing that I and so many others actually experience.
Bambara committed her life to cultural work, specifically inspiring Black women to recognize themselves as human beings worthy of well-being and love. This affirmation is radical in a racist, capitalist, patriarchal world. For Bambara it included activism, holistic education, short stories, film and mentorship.