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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.

ORAL HISTORY

Martha Lou Gadsden


Martha Lou's Kitchen

Martha Lou Gadsden left her mark in the kitchens of several black-owned restaurants in Charleston during segregation, including the Ladson House and Dee Dex Snack Bar. Starting out as a bus girl, she gradually moved on to waitress, then cook. In 1983, at fifty-three years old, she opened Martha Lou’s Kitchen. Today, with the help of her daughters and grandchildren, she can still be found stirring pots, taking orders, serving up hot plates, and chatting with customers from near and far who visit her modest pink restaurant.

Date of interview:
2015-03-05

Interviewer:
Sara Wood

Photographer:
Sara Wood

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