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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Herman Newton Truitt, December 5, 1978. Interview H-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Black workers, poorer than their white counterparts, buy the cheapest cuts of meat

One can measure the economic status of black workers in Burlington by their purchases at Truitt's store. His black customers first bought cheap cuts of meat, like pigs' feet and neck bones, but eventually were able to purchase better cuts. Poverty shaped their palates, though, Truitt thinks, since they continued to buy inexpensive meat.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Herman Newton Truitt, December 5, 1978. Interview H-0054. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

ALLEN TULLOS:
You had some comments about the differences between the food preferences, or meat preferences, black and white customers and maybe how changed.
HERMAN NEWTON TRUITT:
Let's see, the black customers would choose the cheaper cuts of meat. Pig feet used to sell cheap. So would neck bones. And end cuts of ham would be cheaper. They would choose that because they didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on the other things. But as time went on, as they developed and began to make more money, while they bought some of the better cuts of meat, they still liked the things that they used to eat—they still liked the pig feet, the neck bones, the chitterlings. They developed a taste for them and they still buy them. Although they're not as cheap as they used to be, they still prefer them. Does that about get it?