THE: You mentioned that when you came to cities like Nashville, you wanted to invest your money in black businesses. What are some of the modern 2020 companies that you fell in love with on the road, or welcomed you, or spent your money on?
JWW: Okay, my favorite place, it exists in 2020, but it’s actually quite old: the much revered Dooky chase restaurant in New Orleans. I’ve been to New Orleans a few times for work and had never been to Dooky Chase so I was super excited. It was run by famous cook Leah Chase, who died last year. This restaurant is black owned, serves black soul food and has been operating for decades and I was so excited. This was the last place Alvin and I ate together on this trip. For 2,000 miles, we talked about how excited we were to go, because one of the things Alvin and I love to do is eat together. So we were so, so incredibly thrilled to finally get to Dooky Chase. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had never been there before. So I was really delighted to discover when crossing the front doors of this restaurant, that it had this refined air. It was a beautiful dining room, beautiful tables with white tablecloths, charming waiters walking around to meet the needs of the diners. Then at the back of the restaurant are those long tables with the most delicious and delicious soul food you have ever seen in your entire life. Looks like all your aunts and grandmothers have come together to deliver this manna from heaven to you. Alvin and I stacked our plates. We had hot sausage, we had fried chicken, we had green beans, we had cornbread. We sat at this table and we ate and we ate and we laughed and we were so happy and can’t wait to go back. I highly recommend everyone to experience Dooky Chase at least once or 20 times in their lifetime.
MC: I would like to know, as a last question, with what do you hope the listeners of the podcast leave?
JWW: A number of things. I hope all listeners, but especially the young, black people feel inspired to speak to their elders, to collect their stories about our history. It is often not said in the history books and when it is on screens it is often from the white perspective. I think it’s important for us to collect and tell our stories to the world, with our voices, with our experiences. I also hope everyone understands and realizes that despite the many challenges related to racism, white supremacy and economic oppression, African Americans are innovative and resilient people and we have thrived in this country. Black people are amazing and we have so many more stories to offer. Just the fact that I have been sitting here generations later, I am a descendant of African slaves. My black family grew up in the Deep South during the reconstruction, during Jim Crow. I’m here right now, exploring this. I testify to the fact that we are strong, that we are always there. We are still here and we will be there.
MC: It seems like the perfect place to wrap up. If people want to listen Driving the green book, where can they find it?
JWW: Apple podcasts.
MC: Perfect. And where can people find you on social media?
JWW: You can find me on Twitter at @janeepwoods.
MC: If you want to know more about the podcast, we will be linked to a story that we have on our site in the show’s notes and you can find out more, hear more stories, read them, then click to hear them. You can find me @ohheytheremere.
THE: You can find me @lalehannah.