Why did a voice of the civil rights movement get into the fried chicken business?

Hosted by

Mahalia Jackson was known as the “Queen of Gospel.” More than anything else, she used the sounds of the Black church as a reckoning for all of the ways American democracy failed to live up to its promises. In 1968, the singer launched Mahalia’s Fried Chicken, a franchise that grew to 135 locations. This segment — produced by Betsy Shepherd — originally aired on the Gravy podcast by Southern Foodways Alliance. Shepherd won this year’s James Beard Award for Best Audio Reporting.



Evan Kleiman