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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

< Back to Oral History project: Chinese Grocers


Raymond Wong

How Joy Restaurant

Today’s consumer of Chinese cuisine may have a refined knowledge of the regional specialties of the country, but back in the early 1960s, a time when even chopsticks were seen as new and exciting, what Americans knew of Chinese food mainly consisted of Chop Suey and Chow Mein.

Though you could have ordered a plate of either of those dishes at How Joy Restaurant in Greenville, Raymond Wong and his family were proud to serve you other, lesser-known dishes of their Cantonese heritage. Opened in 1968 by his parents, Henry and Pon Wong, How Joy was one of the first Chinese restaurants to open in the Mississippi Delta and was a Greenville institution until its closing in 2008. And while the restaurant may have closed, Raymond is still proud of its forty-year history of providing hungry Mississippians a taste of something new alongside something familiar.

Date of interview:

Jung Min (Kevin) Kim

Jung Min (Kevin) Kim

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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.


Alex Raij Txikito

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