A beloved Mississippi restaurant will soon close. Its history is marred by segregation.

The owners of an iconic steak-and-seafood restaurant in Greenwood, Mississippi are about to retire, prompting a wave of lyrical odes of the sort that often accompany historic closures. But Brett Anderson at The New York Times chose a more nuanced path, exploring the restaurant’s complicated racial legacy in a community scarred by its segregated history. While acknowledging Lusco’s significant contributions to a particular “electric” style of Delta restaurant, Anderson notes how few of Greenwood’s Black residents—who make up the majority of the city’s population—have actually eaten there. He also delves into the legacy of Booker Wright, a Black Lusco’s waiter who went on to open his own Greenwood bar and restaurant, Booker’s Place. Wright spoke out in a 1966 NBC News documentary about the racist treatment he faced working at Lusco’s, leading to a near-death beating from a local policeman. Wright was murdered in 1973 in a confrontation with a customer and was recast as an unheralded civil rights hero decades later thanks to the work of writers, filmmakers and musicians. As the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture told the Times, “If we decide to go [to Lusco’s] and dine, we need to think about these histories. These legacies are complicated.”

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