Wednesday, June 20

SFA Talks Race, Ethnicity, and Food as part of the Gilder Lehrman Institute's Summer Teachers' Seminar

Gilder Lehrman Institute group outside Abe's Bar-B-Q in Clarksdale, MS

Teachers from across the country are in Oxford this week to study race and ethnicity in the modern South through a program of the Gilder Lehrman Institute. This one-week seminar is co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and each day is dedicated to a different theme. Yesterday's seminar theme: foodways.

Chafik Chamoun of Chamoun's Rest Haven in Clarksdale speaks to the group

SFA Oral Historian Amy Evans Streeter spent all day with the group. The morning session was spent in the classroom, where Amy introduced participants to relevant interviews from our oral history archive, as well as various techniques relating to the collection of fieldwork. For the afternoon session the group traveled to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where participants visited two locations profiled in our Delta Lebanese oral history project, Abe's Bar-B-Q and Chamoun's Rest Haven, as well as the Delta Blues Museum. At Abe's, the group was introduced to the history of hot tamales in the Delta and many enjoyed their first-ever tamale. During their visit to the Delta Blues Museum, the group explored the relationship between food and music. And at Chamoun's Rest Haven, they enjoyed plates of dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) and slices of chocolate or coconut meringue pie, while listening to Chafik Chamoun tell of the days when Clarksdale was known as Little Lebanon.

A chocolate meringue pie at Chamoun's Rest Haven

Visit the Gilder Lehrman Institute's website for more information on the organization and its programs.