“Soul Alley” is a documentary which examines a nightlife strip run by African American soldiers in wartime Saigon. Credit: Courtesy of Ted Irving. Featured Image
You might hear about the nightclubs run by black soldiers who’d deserted the conflict. Or that tailor shop that sold the same sharp suits you’d find in Superfly-era Harlem.
And then there was the food.
“There was a soul food kitchen … with collard greens and black-eyed peas and hog maws and chitlins,” says Robert Rice, a veteran of the US-Vietnam War now living in Tennessee. “And fried chicken and red beans and rice. In Vietnam!”
These recollections were shared with a Houston filmmaker named Ted Irving. His documentary “Soul Alley: Children of the Dust, Streets of Ebony,” captures an oral history of this forgotten oasis for African American GIs.