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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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Irene Rich

When the SFA visited Irene Rich in 2009, she was celebrating the one-year anniversary of Peak Brothers’ reopening after a devastating fire. Her father and uncle, both World War II veterans, originally opened the restaurant in 1948. They served barbecue and beer to a mostly male clientele during the week, converting the space into a dance hall on Friday and Saturday nights. Irene and her sister and brothers have been working at the restaurant since they were teenagers. Peak Brothers is best known for its barbecue hams, which customers purchase whole for the holidays by the thousands. Lately, though, Irene has been experimenting with new menu items such as barbecue pizza and a barbecue sundae.

Date of interview:
2009-06-12 00:00

Lisa Powell

Lisa Powell

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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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