10:28 am
Wed April 24, 2013

Tracing Winston-Salem History Through African American Food Vendors

Part of Winston-Salem's economic and racial history is being explained by a new food exhibit. Foodways and Roadways is a multimedia exhibit documenting the changing food environments, primarily in the eastern part of the city from the late 1940’s through the 1970’s.

Dr. Margaret Savoca, with Wake Forest School of Medicine in the Division of Public Health Sciences,  says years ago, most African Americans ate nutritious food because they had easy access to quality foods.
“The African American businesses related to food had grocery stores, they had cafes and the milk delivery business was very important too,” she explains.
“They were civic leaders too, so they took care of people in their community when there was a need. They helped people who fell on hard times, when they were sick.” says Savoca.

Dr. Savoca teamed up with Jessica Pic, a graduate student in the Documentary Film Program at Wake Forest University. Pic hopes their film and photographs will help bridge a growing gap. “What’s really striking to me is there are a lot of food deserts in Winston-Salem east of highway U.S. 52,” says Pic. She added, “I hope this project will help grow that area and help bring produce or good food to people in those communities.”

Foodways and Roadways  is on display Wednesday, April 24 at the old Boys and Girls Club on 1922 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. The exhibit is open to the public from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.