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March 17 , 2009

The People's Place

Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today


Celebrated former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra unearths stories as he travels, tastes, and talks his way through 20 of America’s soul food restaurants
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. loved the fried catfish and lemon icebox pie at Memphis’s Four Way restaurant. In New Orleans, beloved chef Leah Chase recalls introducing George W. Bush to baked cheese grits and scolding Barack Obama for putting Tabasco sauce on her gumbo. Following the “soul food corridor” from the South through northern industrial cities, The People’s Place gives voice to the remarkable chefs, workers, and small business owners who provided sustenance and a safe haven for civil rights pioneers, not to mention presidents and politicians; music, film, and sports legends; and countless everyday, working-class people. Featuring photographs, recipes, and ruminations from notable regulars—including Minnijean Brown, one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Little Rock Central High School in 1957; former congressman and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young; jazz legend Ramsey Lewis; James Meredith, the first African American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi; and many others—The People’s Place is an unprecedented celebration of soul food and community.
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