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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 annemarie@southernfoodways.org.

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Barry, Jim, and Nora Vaughn

After suffering a back injury, Jim Vaughn made the shift from mechanic to barbecue pitmaster and opened J & N BBQ with his wife, Nora, in 1996. The couple had provided smoked meats and sides for community gatherings for years, so opening a restaurant didn’t seem like too much of a jump. Their small red and white trailer has been serving the greater Jonesboro community ever since.

Barry Vaughn is Jim and Nora’s grandson and the third generation to work at J & N BBQ. Barry does most of the barbecuing these days, smoking everything from ribs to butts. He also smokes wild game—turkey, deer, and even raccoons—for local hunters. Jim and Nora have attended “coon suppers” all their lives, so it wasn’t long before smoked raccoon became a J & N tradition.

Date of interview:

Rachel Reynolds Luster

Rachel Reynolds Luster

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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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