The Buford Highway Oral History Project explores old Atlanta Highway 13, stretching thirty-odd miles from Atlanta to suburban Buford, Georgia. While many major cities are divided into distinct ethnic neighborhoods (Chinatown, Little Italy, etc.), the Buford Highway international corridor is jam-packed with strip malls featuring native cuisines of varied immigrant populations, one next door to another. One parking lot may be shared by restaurants offering Chinese potstickers, Salvadorian pupusas, Mexican beef tongue tacos, and Korean barbecue. The businesses are always changing. When an old favorite closes, a new spot opens, showcasing a different country of origin. Together, new and changing immigrant communities forge a more global South.
Featured here are the stories of first- and second-generation immigrants who brought the foods of their homelands with them and were often inspired by other traditions they encountered in Georgia. Meet Eddie Hernandez, who received a gift of collard greens and ended up putting them on the menu at his taqueria. Read about Frank Ma, the grandfather of Chinese restaurants in Atlanta, who loves to eat at the Waffle House. And listen to Harold Shinn talk about the role produce plays in community-building along Atlanta’s Buford Highway.