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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Dan Nguyen

Lang Van

An “Dan” Nguyen owns Lang Van, a Vietnamese restaurant in the Shamrock neighborhood of Charlotte. Ms. Nguyen is from Saigon, Vietnam. Ms. Nguyen’s husband, Thuyen Tran, was the first to travel to the United States. Once he settled in Charlotte, he sent for her arrival in 1999. The couple didn’t have a place to live and they did not speak English. Ms. Nguyen set out on foot to find work and eventually settled at Lang Van, working for the restaurant’s first owner. Ms. Nguyen took over the restaurant in 2004 and has owned Lang Van outright since 2009. Her children, Alice and Henry Tran, can be seen helping out in the restaurant, while her husband works the kitchen.

Ms. Nguyen was interviewed with her daughter and son, who provided translation.

Date of interview:

Keia Mastrianni

Peter Taylor

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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