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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0402
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Adrian Miller

Across America, the pure love and popularity of barbecue cookery has gone through the roof. Prepared in one regional style or another, in the South and beyond, barbecue is one of the nation’s most distinctive culinary arts. And people aren’t just eating it: They’re also reading books and articles and watching TV shows about it.  But why is it, asks Adrian Miller—admitted ’cuehead and longtime certified barbecue judge—that in today’s barbecue culture African Americans don’t get much love?

Drawing on his new book Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, Miller reveals how Black barbecuers, pitmasters, and restaurateurs helped develop this cornerstone of American foodways and how they are coming into their own today. Miller shares the smoke-filled story of Black perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship. Though often pushed to the margins, African Americans have enriched a barbecue culture that has come to be embraced by all. Join Miller as he celebrates and restores the faces and stories of the men and women who have influenced this American cuisine.

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This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.