Southern North Carolina And The Civil War During The 20th Century

1187 Words Aug 30th, 2014 5 Pages
“I don’t think you can really understand the South if you don’t understand barbeque—as food, process, and event.” Barbeque has been one of the quintessential foods of the South and especially North Carolina for over 300 years and one can find its wood-smoked legacy throughout the Old North State. In colonial Virginia, where barbecue is thought to have first been introduced to white settlers, slave-owners made the duty of cooking barbecue for slaves (this was also the case in South Carolina). However, in North Carolina, white farmers and journeymen, and black slaves practiced the art of barbecue. White and black men continued the tradition of barbeque into the Twentieth Century, when they turned profits from the meat, with the majority of black pitmasters located in Eastern North Carolina. This paper will follow three separate periods of barbeque practiced by African-Americans in Eastern North Carolina, the period of slavery, the post-Civil War period and the Twentieth Century; it will argue that during the period of American slavery barbecue had the effect of somewhat uplifting the African-American slave population, served as a means to continue the sharecropping system following the Civil War, and in the Twentieth Century, had the paradoxical effect of setting black people back in terms of civil rights and yet empowering some. When white settlers came from Spain and landed on Caribbean Islands, they found Taíno Natives slow cooking meat on a “grill” made of sticks…

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