• Home »
  • Black Issues »
  • Paula Deen Promised “I’ll Make You a Millionaire” to her ‘Soul Sister’, But Never Did

Paula Deen Promised “I’ll Make You a Millionaire” to her ‘Soul Sister’, But Never Did

Dora Charles, a worker for Paula Deen

 Paula Deen Promised “I’ll Make You a Millionaire” to her ‘Soul Sister’, But Never Did

UPDATE on July 30, 2013: Paula Deen’s camp says Dora Charles is only trying to cash in on the ‘current situation’.

There seems to be some friction going on with a worker of Paula Deen and Deen kitchens. A woman named Dora Charles worked for Deen for 22 years. She stated in an interview that she helped open restaurants that made Paula Deen’s career; developed recipes, trained other cooks and made sure everything tasted right. before it was served to customers.

She said Paula Deen once said: “If it’s a Southern dish, you better not put it out unless it passes this woman’s tongue.”

Dora Charles says she and Paula Deen were soul sisters and that is what Deen called them from the beginning before she became a huge success and star.

Charles said even though they were close, there was an obvious intention to make sure she would never get rich working for Deen. Dora Charles said she made less than $10 an hour for 20 years working for Deen. She even stated Deen did use racial slurs and wanted Charles to ring a bell at the front of the restaurant an holler ‘come and get it’.

The interview Charles did with the NY Times mentioned her response to the ‘bell ringing’:

“I said, ‘I’m not ringing no bell,’ ” Mrs. Charles said. “That’s a symbol to me of what we used to do back in the day.”

The photo below shows her relative named ‘Jellyroll’ who agreed to ring the bell for one of Deen’s restaurants but refused to wear an Aunt Jemima outfit she requested. Oh, really?!

paula deen and jellyroll, jellyroll ringing bell 'come and get it'

The report goes on to state:

For a black woman in Savannah with a ninth-grade education, though, it was good steady work. And Ms. Deen, she said, held out the promise that together, they might get rich one day.

Now, Ms. Deen, 66, is fighting empire-crushing accusations of racism, and Mrs. Charles, 59 and nursing a bad shoulder, lives in an aging trailer home on the outskirts of Savannah.

“It’s just time that everybody knows that Paula Deen don’t treat me the way they think she treat me,” she said.

The relationship between Mrs. Charles and Ms. Deen is a complex one, laced with history and deep affection, whose roots can be traced back to the antebellum South. Depending on whether Mrs. Charles or Ms. Deen tells the story, it illustrates lives of racial inequity or benevolence.

Here’s some interesting news about Deen and Charles. Their birthdays are one day apart and they used to celebrate them together. Charles stated that when Deen hosted catering parties before she opened her Lady & Sons restaurants, she hustled along with her. Deen even made a promise to Charles is why she stuck around so long:

paula deen and dora charles

Early on, Mrs. Charles claims, Ms. Deen made her a deal: “Stick with me, Dora, and I promise you one day if I get rich you’ll get rich.”

Now, Mrs. Charles said, she wished she had gotten that in writing. “I didn’t think I had to ’cause we were real close back then,” she said.

She said, “I’m not trying to portray that she is a bad person,” she said. “I’m just trying to put my story out there that she didn’t treat me fairly and I was her soul sister.”

We have to say that Ms. Charles probably should have never thought that Paula Deen would make her a millionaire just because she said it out of feeling grateful for her services and their strange friendship. People make promises all of the time and do not keep them. She was foolish to think that Deen would do any more than what she had done for her. People quickly forget the good others do after they reach success and since Paula Deen has been said to be a racist by many people, would anyone expect any more her, really? Reports also said that Deen had hired some of her family members and helped her in some expenses over the years. After she and other employees complained to the EEOC, Deen’s son increased Charles’ income from less than $10 per hour to over $72,000 year. This was pretty convenient especially since they had to be forced to do right my her regarding her wages. We just wish she would not have known that any woman who uses racial slurs towards her or any other people could never really be trusted. May God help her.

Read more on the story at NY Times.