Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue
This July 4, the country will be emerging from the pandemic to celebrate the most patriotic of holidays with friends and family. At The Commonwealth Club, just days before the holiday, we'll be re-opening our doors and cracking open our grills in a special event that celebrates an iconic American food: barbecue! We’ll explore this rich and historic food, particularly the essential role that African Americans have played in the development of the cuisine. Audiences can watch either online or join us in-person!
Adrian Miller, author of, Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue, will kick off our event with stories of Black perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship in the world of barbecue. His work illustrates that despite cultural marginalization, African Americans have enriched a now-embraced barbecue culture tied strongly to summer holidays and recounts how Black barbecuers, pitmasters and restaurateurs are coming into their own after having helped develop this American cuisine, incorporating techniques first pioneered by Native Americans. Miller is also featured in the new Netflix special "High on the Hog," about African-American food history.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Justin Phillips will interview Miller in the Taube Family Auditorium at our headquarters on the Embarcadero.