Dooky Chase Gumbo Fueled Civil Rights Movement

Published March 3, 2012 7:27PM (EST)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — At the famed Dooky Chase Restaurant in New Orleans, where civil rights movement veterans still recall making plans to change the world over bowls of gumbo, black and white foodies now line up for Leah Chase's Creole cooking.

Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, some customers had to enter discreetly and meet secretly. In the 1950s and '60s, as the movement gained steam, many of its leaders dined at the restaurant, then used a back room for meetings.

It's where plans were drawn up to help the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. stage sit-ins and to shelter others trying to further the cause of racial equality.

Leah Chase, who now runs the restaurant with her husband, Edgar "Dooky" Chase Jr., called it "changing the world over bowls of gumbo."

By Salon Staff

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