BBQ Book and #100AcresProject
Two projects that I am extremely passionate in 2020 in the midst of COVID-19 and protesting against systemic racism, is working to Black Hand in the Pit BBQ Book and #100AcresProject to life. These projects I have been working on a while in some way, shape, or form. There was no perfect time to do it, but when COVID-19 came, I found myself with a little extra time and I said this was the time I needed to bring these goals to life.
My first bbq book project that I am going to birth, Black Hand in the Pit, is going to be an illustrated anthology of my research and some amazing people perspective on bbq whom have been on this journey with me will be shared. While the book will be mostly pictures, some very thought provoking essays and truth seeking essays into the history of BBQ in America with another more accurate look into the origins of bbq. A lot of text like to loosely give indigenous cultures credit for bbq, and when you read and look at this you may ask yourself, America’s BBQ knowledge is really enslaved Africans knowledge. To me BBQ was in every part of my life but it was not documented until the past few years as growing up we did not take any pictures as we took the tradition for granted. As I look back now, the first picture of whole hog bbq taken in my family was in the 2006 time frame and I have been around bbq about 34 years, so you do the math! So in 2013, I started cooking publicly and documenting my journey to bring the roles of blacks in bbq to the light, with backing up the oral history with grounded research and experimental work.
The next project that I am launching for years, is the #100AcresProject. For over 5 years, I have been pondering as a private goal of mine is to secure 50 to 100 acres of farm land in the community that I grew up in Clarendon County. I believe in the economies that Agriculture if one can figure out how to value add the products grown from the land. Therefore the #100AcresProject wants to purchase land to grow agricultural products that can converted via a manufacturing incubator, to develop manufacturing capabilities in the rural South. To have this #100AcresProject in the Rural South is important because it will show how education matters to change an area for generations to come. Black Farmers have lost a lot of land due to lending practices of the USDA and systemic racism. It is why I am trying to raise the capital to purchase this amount of land outright and going through a platform like GoFundMe( https://www.gofundme.com/100acresproject ), everything is open and transparent. Finally, the #100AcresProject will have enough space to be able to hand out awards and recognitions to black and brown people in the hospitality industry from farmers to chefs to pitmasters and brewers at an event that rivals Coachella or Bonnaroo. Imagine being able to expand Gumbo Jubilee (link to https://www.youtube.com/pbsnourish and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoiykr3Gh7c&t=16s ) from an indoor venue to an outdoor venue on a farm in the south, particularly Clarendon County, SC which is Ground Zero for how education in the America changed. Then to have the grounds to host the ultimate BBQ Music Festival in one of the strongholds for South Carolina BBQ, which is in reality is American BBQ, is something special. All people are welcome and appreciated. This GoFundMe project will help lay the groundwork for a dream that I see so clearly that it could be a reality with your support.
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