Hattie Austin Moseley - A Pioneer in the Food Industry | She Had G.R.I.T.

Hattie Austin Moseley (credit: Saratoga.com)
Celebrating the notable achievements of women cannot be condensed to just one month since our contributions are year round. March is Women's History Month, and it's an intentional time of researching women, and learning about the often overlooked accomplishments of some amazing sheroes that we might not otherwise hear about were it not for this attention to their work. 

Because I love history and am now doing doctoral ministry work on food sovereignty, particularly examining the intersection of land, food and faith formation, I want to highlight a woman that I came to know through research two years ago. I include her in my 2017 book, Being Ruth: Pressing Through Life's Struggles with Fearless Faith, as I talk about women who have made significant strides in the face of life's struggles. I highlight women in contemporary history, who like the biblical women Ruth and Naomi, who went from being wives to being widows in a matter of minutes, overcame adversity in their status of now single women in a male-dominated society. 

Here's an excerpt of Hattie Austin Moseley from chapter 5, She Walked With Holy Boldness

"In 1938, the community in Saratoga, New York, came to know a widow who pressed through her own calamity with grit and determination to not only make a name for herself, but also a living for herself in the aftermath of her husband's death. 

Hattie Austin Moseley opened a food stand bearing her name, a chicken shack that offered hungry customers some of the best southern fried chicken, biscuits and other delicious menu items. She learned how to navigate life as a widow, as an entrepreneur and as one who was solely responsible for her livelihood and well-being. Here she was, in the midst of the Great Depression, when the economy was at an all-time low, when businessmen were hitting rock bottom and many were taking their own lives, Hattie showed grit and determination. 

She wasn't afraid to do the work that it took to survive, and within a year, she turned that food stand into a full-fledge restaurant. It became the "go to" eatery where baseball legend Jackie Robinson frequented, as did musician Cab Calloway. She pushed her way through a season of hardships and ran that restaurant until she was in her nineties." (79)

Think about the economic impact that Hattie made. Her efforts and ingenuity ensured that people in the Saratoga community had good food to eat. The people who dined at her restaurant, gathered around the tables and discussed the pressing issues of the day over southern fried chicken. Help me salute Hattie Austin Moseley and the legacy that she leaves in the food industry.

Blair-Lavallais, Yvette. "She Walked With Holy Boldness." In Being Ruth: Pressing Through Life's Struggles with Fearless Faith: Dallas, Her Sisters Situation, 2017  


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