Waiting on - and for - Dignity: Black Waiters before the Civil War

View all events in: August 2013 | South Central

August 17, 2013, 7:00 PM CT

Presented by Kelly Erby

In 1820's urban America, the nascent commercial dining industry demanded a new occupation: restaurant waiter. It was a job scorned by white, native-born men; however, free black men prized the positions. Many African American waiters strove to instill pride, status, and dignity into their work, even though it was more or less the same job performed by those enslaved in southern homes at the time. Attention to this remarkable process in one of the few non-segregated northern occupations is revealing of how free African Americans endeavored to raise the status of their labor and sheds light on the enduring centrality of work to the American identity.

Park City Public Library
1530 E 61st St N
Park City, KS 67219-1953
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Sponsored by: Friends of Park City Public Library

For more information about this event, please contact:
Linda Holsey
(316) 744-0752