Related archival collection: Chitlin Market and Company records, which dates from 1979 to 2006 and measures 1.16 linear feet, documents the history of the Chitlin Market and Company, which was founded in 1995 in Hyattsville, Maryland by Shauna Renee Anderson. The collection is comprised of business documents, correspondence, advertisements, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Contact the Archivist for more information.
The Chitlin Market and Company was founded in 1995 in Hyattsville, Maryland by Shauna Renee Anderson. Anderson was born in South East Washington, DC in 1954 to Geneva Anderson and Walter Chris Holmes both of whom were entertainers. Her mother sang professionally on the Chitlin Circuit under the stage name of Jean Anderson. The Chitlin Circuit was named for the performance venues located throughout the eastern and southern United States that were acceptable for African American entertainers to perform at during the age of Jim Crow and racial segregation in the United States.
Anderson was raised by her maternal grandmother Virginia Battle who taught her how to prepare chitlins and whom she credits for her strong work ethic today. At present, Anderson resides in Hyattsville, Maryland with her daughter Jonvieve, where she still operates her Chitlin Market and Company as a mail order only business.
The history of the food in the African American community dates back to slavery. Denied the more healthful cuts of meat enjoyed by slave masters and their families, African-American slaves could either eat what was discarded or perish from hunger. Pork chitterlings were considered cast-offs, but creative slave chefs found a way to make them edible. Pork chitterlings are now considered an African American heritage food which has been enjoyed by families for centuries.
Anderson, Shauna, and Elizabeth Latrobe Place. 2006. Offal great: a memoir from the queen of chitlins. Erie, PA: First Place Publishing Company.
The Chitlin Market and Company records, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Shauna R. Anderson.
African American business enterprises
African American businesspeople
African American cooking
African American cooks
African American women
American woman entrepreneur
Women-owned business enterprises
Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum