Civil rights activist Medgar Evers once had an office on the same building as this historic restaurant

February 22, 2019 at 02:00 pm | Foodie Friday

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

February 22, 2019 at 02:00 pm | Foodie Friday

Big Apple Inn -- Photo Credit:

To mark Black History Month, Face2Face Africa will be highlighting popular eateries/restaurants that are etched in black history and the roles their owners played to make them havens for African-Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and even before.

On today’s instalment, we spotlight Big Apple Inn, located in Jackson, Mississippi.

Big Apple Inn — Photo Credit:

Founded by Mexican immigrant Juan “Big John” Mora, who was married to an African-American woman, Big Apple Inn, which he named after his favourite dance, moved to its present location along the Farish Street in 1952.

Inside Big Apple Inn — Photo Credit:

Known for its signature pig ear sandwiches and smoked sausage sandwiches, the building in which the restaurant is located has a rather very interesting history. Legendary blues musician Sonny Boy Williamson once lived upstairs and frequented the eatery before heading out for performances.

Pig Ear and smoked sausage sandwiches from Big Apple Inn — Photo Credit:

Iconic civil rights activist Medgar Evers, after becoming Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP in 1954 also once had an office upstairs and usually held strategy meetings with the Freedom Riders in the restaurant.

Medgar Evers

Geno Lee, who currently runs the eatery and is the great-grandson of Big John, in an interview with WLBT, spoke about Medgar’s meetings with the Freedom Riders:

“A lot of activity was going on down here, especially during the Civil Rights Movement. Medgar Evers’ office was actually above the Big Apple Inn, so when the Freedom Riders would come to town, they would have to meet in our place because the 10×10 square office wasn’t big enough, so they would have had a lot of meetings in the Big Apple Inn,” he said.

Big Apple Inn celebrates 80 years of business

Big Apple Inn was honored today by state lawmakers for 80 years in business. To commemorate the moment, take a look at a recent 16 Cuisine visit to the Jackson restaurant.

Posted by 16 WAPT News on Friday, December 21, 2018

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