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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

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Paula Murphy

Patterson & Murphy Public Relations

Paula Murphy, born in 1972, was raised in Michigan and Ohio. In 1983, her family moved to Houston, Texas. They settled in the Clear Lake area of Houston, the home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center.  Paula Murphy attended the University of Houston and graduated from there with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

In 1991, Murphy began working as an intern for Patterson & Blanton Public Relations. The firm specializes in public relations campaigns for food and hospitality-related business. After her summer internship, she became an account executive and continued working with the firm.  In 2000, she became a partner. In 2007, Murphy became the principal partner of the agency. Now known as Patterson & Murphy Public Relations, Murphy oversees all aspects of the company, from client development and relations, media relations, press kit development and special event coordination.  Murphy’s clients include many different food-related organizations including local restaurants and the Houston Food Bank. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Murphy continued to manage public relations for the Houston Food Bank.

Date of interview:

Michelle Little


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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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