Black Enterprise: Remembering Austin’s Pioneering Entrepreneurs

Interior of Carrington's Grocery Store

Along east 6th Street in Austin in the 1870s, a bustling African American commercial district developed, with many black owned business growing and thriving, not only serving Austin’s African American community, but the city as a whole. Within this district were many food related businesses – groceries, meat markets, restaurants, etc. – and this presentation by food writer Toni Tipton-Martin will explore the development and impact of this commercial district. There will also be a showing of the short documentary Mama Sugar, produced by Foodways Texas, about the charming matriarch of the Sugar Shack Trailblazers, a trail riding club that Nathan Jean Whittaker (Mama Sugar) Sanders brings her East Texas old School cooking traditions to along with her annual Juneteenth birthday party.
This program is part of a series of events related to the current exhibit at the AHC, “How to Prepare a Possum: 19th Century Cuisine in Austin.” The exhibit explores all avenues of early Austin food, including what food was indeed local, how food was prepared, how and where people shopped for food, what it cost, and where people went out to eat. The exhibit runs through January 10, 2014. The program is co-sponsored by the AHCA and is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.