Edna Stewart

Edna Stewart (1938-2010) opened her namesake restaurant on Chicago’s West Side in 1966. Popular for its great soul food, the restaurant became better known as a meeting spot for political and civil rights leaders. Early patrons included Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson and other civil rights workers who Stewart fed free of charge. Chicago political leaders, religious leaders and community organizers also frequented Edna’s to enjoy sweet potatoes, greens, fried chicken and “The Best Biscuits on Earth” as they discussed issues and strategies.

Stewart was committed to offering job opportunities to people in the community, including the previously incarcerated and others who had difficulty finding employment. In her final years she welcomed school students, serving them soul food and history lessons.

Why this stop? Edna’s was just 2 blocks south of the Kedzie Green Line stop.

Consider this — Edna Stewart fed the civil rights movement by literally serving food to the movement’s leaders and by opening up her restaurant as a meeting place. What causes might you support in a creative or unusual way?