Oral History

Roberto Gonzalez - On food, immigrating, and his relationships with Northside neighbors and the Chapel Hill Latino community

Interviewed by Monica Palmeira on April 5, 2012

This interview is part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center’s A Place at the Table Series. Roberto Gonzalez, a resident of the Northside neighborhood and tenant of St. Josephs CME church, immigrated from Mexico to Chapel Hill when he was about 26 years old. After arriving in 2007, he was introduced to St. Joseph’s CME church when he inquired about renting his current house, which the church happened to own. He describes his relationship with his Northside neighbors and the Latino community here in Chapel Hill, and how those relationships have changed over his five years of residence in the area. This interview focuses on food, and he reflects on the role that food plays in his and his family’s life. He also discusses the way food, his role in its preparation, and the place of eating, has changed throughout his lifetime. He shares with us his childhood memories, what life was like on his family’s farm, and the describes the kitchen from his childhood home. Additionally, Roberto recounts his journey from his small town in Mexico to arriving here in Chapel Hill, and the struggles he faced when he first arrived in the United States. Joined by his wife, Rocío, son Daniel, and daughter Carolina, Roberto and his family discuss all aspects of food, from what they enjoy eating and cooking, to the place where they learned to cook it.

Roberto Gonzalez - On food, immigrating, and his relationships with Northside neighbors and the Chapel Hill Latino community

Tags: ,

Oral history interview of Gonzalez, Roberto conducted by Palmeira, Monica on April 5, 2012 at Home of Roberto Gonzalez, Chapel Hill, NC. Processed by Wiseman, Talia.

Citation: Marian Cheek Jackson Center, “Roberto Gonzalez - On food, immigrating, and his relationships with Northside neighbors and the Chapel Hill Latino community,” From the Rock Wall, accessed May 21, 2022, https://fromtherockwall.org/oral-histories/roberto-gonzalez-2.

"We’re writing our own history, thank you!"

Ms. Esphur Foster

Want to add in?  Have a different view?  What do you think? Want to upload your own photos or documents?

History is not the past.  It’s the sense we make of the past now. Click below to RESPOND—and be part of making history today.

Respond