Meals on Wheels Hot Tamales and Tacos (stand) | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

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: Hot Tamale Trail


Lumumba Ajanaku

Originally from Leland, Mississippi, Lumumba Ajanaku learned how to make hot tamales from his mother in 1969. He was seventeen years old. She sold them out of their house to make extra money. When Lumumba needed some extra money in his pocket, he decided to do the same. He now has his Meals on Wheels hot tamale stand in Yazoo City, Mississippi. After working at other tamale businesses around the Delta, Lumumba took the best elements from each and created something he could call his own. Today, he sells tamales full-time and even takes his stand to events around the state. Lumumba believes that Delta tamales developed from the African American food “cush.” Whatever their origins, Lumumba’s hot tamales will likely be around for a long time to come.

Date of interview:
2005-06-21 00:00

Amy Evans


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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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