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Black History Month For Foodies Series: Paschal’s Restaurant

Photo of Paschal’s old location in South West Atlanta, recipes below

After the success of Montgomery Improvement Association and the end of the Jim Crow laws on buses in Montgomery, Alabama in 1956, Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) returned to Atlanta, Georgia. There he organized the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957 and he served as the associated pastor of his father’s church. Paschal’s served as a popular meeting place for black activists and politicians. MLK and his SCLC lieutenants, Maynard Jackson, and Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) Julian Bond, who all attended Morehouse, held strategy meetings over Paschal’s famed fried chicken along with collard greens, corn bread, mac and cheese and sweet potato pie, or a plate of eggs, grits, and a cup of coffee. Brothers James and Robert Paschal first opened a lunch counter sandwich shop on Hunter Street in Atlanta in 1947. Overtime the brothers moved to a location adjacent to the AUC and expanded their business to include a motel, a night club on the famous Chitin Circuit, and a white table cloth restaurant. According to Marcellas C. D. Barksdale, who attended Morehouse in the early 1960s, during segregation Paschal’s remained the first choice for a Sunday meal for “Doctor and Mrs. so and so.” In addition to formal dining, Paschal’s also had a lunch counter and grill where you could also order fried chicken, collards and corn bread in a casual setting. Back when I taught in the Morehouse College History Department (2000-2003) Paschal's moved to a new elegant location that perhaps tripled its square footage and provided space for private dining rooms. The quality of the food had not changed and perhaps it even improved. Below are some recipes reminiscent of Paschal’s culinary legacy.

Corn bread recipes: http://frederickdouglassopie.blogspot.com/2010/11/thanksgiving-day-series-corn-bread-and.html

Mac and cheese recipes: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Southern-Macaroni-and-Cheese/MoreRecipesLikeThis.aspx

Black History Month For Foodies Series: Vertamae Smart Grosvenor

Black History Month For Foodies Series: National Council of Negro Women