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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: Ya-Ka-Mein in New Orleans


Linda Green

Miss Linda’s New Orleans Soul Food Seasoning Company

Linda Green cooked for the Orleans Parish School Board for 25 years by 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit and the federal levee system failed in New Orleans. Like so many of her co-workers in the public school system, Linda never heard from her employers at the School Board again. Fortunately, she had other connections.

Through her participation in the city’s second line culture—both as a street vendor and as the president of the Lady and Men Rollers social aid and pleasure club—she had earned friends and fans who quickly put her to work cooking. She cooked for musicians in need, she opened a booth at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and she resumed her place as the premier ya-ka-mein vendor at Sunday second lines.

These days, between television appearances and charity events, Linda operates a catering company. What’s next for the Ya-Ka-Mein Lady? Well, in this interview she does broach the topic of a ya-ka-mein Bloody Mary.

Date of interview:

Sara Roahen

Sara Roahen

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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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