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Asian Foodways Series: Part 7 Asian Restaurants in black communities

Traditional soul food menu items

Coming to a close on a series I have been doing on Asian influences on African and African Diaspora foodways. Lots of traditional soul food restaurants have gone out of business in the last couple of years. The African American entrepreneurs who started some of these restaurants used their hard earned profits to purchase, renovate, and expand their homes and businesses and put their children through college. As they aged, they discouraged their children from going into the tough restaurant business with the long hours and little vacation time. As result many restaurants closed when the original owners got too old and sick to operate them. So go out of business when the restaurants no longer proved profitable as rent and the cost of food increase. In some cases Asian entrepreneurs have filled the void opening restaurants in black communities like Manna’s Soul Food & Salad Bar in Harlem which as maybe 3 locations within a 10 black radius. Asian folk own and black folks work and eat in it. In addition traditional soul food restaurants are competing with KFC and other fast food places for customers. Here is a link an article about the struggle of black owned soul food restaurants in New York including a video:

The Decline of Traditional Soul Food Joints in Harlem: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/23/nyregion/23copelands.html?_r=1&ref=soul_food

African American Festivals/Parades and food Part 2: Election Day

Asian Foodways Series: Part 6 Asian Migration to the United States