African-American Civil Rights Movement

The Dance Theatre of Harlem launched in 1969
The Dance Theatre of Harlem launched in 1969

New Orleans food legend Leah Chase dies aged 96

She fed civil rights activists and redefined New Orleans cuisine
In the 1950s and 60s at the height of the US civil rights movement, when activists needed somewhere discreet to meet, they would go to Dooky Chase, a creole food restaurant in New Orleans. The chef was Leah Chase and she would feed Martin Luther King along with singers Sarah Vaughan and Nat King Cole and later US presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush. She also defied state segregation laws by allowing black and white customers to sit together. Over the weekend, she died at the age of 96 years old and leaves behind a legacy of using food for activism. Chef John Folse worked with Mrs Chase for several years.

(Picture: New Orleans Chef Leah Chase of Dooky Chase. Credit: Skip Bolen/WireImage)