What Philadelphia restaurant serves Oprah Winfrey’s favorite macaroni and cheese? Where did Muhammad Ali wish he had the opportunity to fight? What famous Philly legend does Eagles linebacker Dhani Jones admire?* Answers to these questions and many others are revealed on Philly Noir, the latest podcast tour on SoundAboutPhilly.com, a new site by The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation featuring free dynamically mapped and completely customizable sound-seeing tours of Philadelphia.
The fifth installment in the podcast series, Philly Noir concentrates on African-American culture and its role in the city’s past, present and future.
The tour is a fusion of Philly’s historic events, spiritual reflections, visual arts, soulful rhythms, legendary athletics and southern and Caribbean cuisine. Each of the 11 segments talks about a local venue that plays a pivotal part in the combined experience that makes up Philadelphia’s authentic flavor. The tour features distinctive and varied voices of business owners, pastors, musicians and everyday, in-the-know residents.
Here’s a look at some of the segments on the tour:
—The Sound of Philadelphia - Anyone who has danced to “Love Train” by
the O’Jays knows Gamble and Huff. Kenny Gamble, himself, speaks about
how their music transcended cultural barriers, generational gaps and
evolved into what is now called the Philadelphia Sound.
—Delilah’s at the Terminal - Fried catfish, cauligreens and macaroni
and cheese (voted #1 by Oprah Winfrey) are just some of the options
served at Delilah’s in the Reading Terminal Market. Using fresh foods
and simple ingredients, all dishes are prepared from scratch.
—Steal Away to Freedom - The Johnson family was actively involved in
supporting enslaved Africans seeking freedom. Their house, now the
Johnson House Historic Site, became a safe shelter and a crucial stop
on the Underground Railroad. Just last year, a hatch door was
discovered in the third floor attic where runaway slaves often escaped
to elude bounty hunters.
—Images of Hope - Artist Parris Stancell involves the community in part
of the creative process when painting murals in many neighborhoods as
part of the city’s Mural Arts Program. Powerful images of Martin
Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and colorful landscapes become
inspirational for residents and often become catalysts for change.
—King of the Ring - The Blue Horizon is the last boxing venue of its
kind in the world. In a male-dominated sport, CEO Vernoca L. Michael
became the first African-American female boxing promoter. More than 42
world champions have boxed at the legendary venue, including Joe
Frazier. It is said that one of Muhammad Ali’s biggest regrets is that
he didn’t get to fight at the Blue Horizon.
—Sanctuary of the Soul - From the 1950s to the present day, the Church
of the Advocate’s mission has been to offer spiritual guidance and
provide a welcoming haven and shelter to people in need. In the 1960s
and ‘70s, the church played an integral role in the Civil Rights
Movement by providing a place where groups like the Black Panther
Party could meet and freely express their views.