To celebrate July 4, the Guardian published an article to tell the people of America that one of their favorite ways of cooking, barbecue, was stolen from enslaved Africans and Native Americans.
The article is titled, "Barbecue is an American tradition – of enslaved Africans and Native Americans" and was written by Michael Twitty, who calls himself a culinary historian.
"The traditional holiday cookout has its roots in the cooperation between black and indigenous peoples struggling to get or keep their freedom from colonialists," Twitty's secondary headline reads.
"If America is about people creating new worlds based on rebellion against oppression and slavery," he writes, "then barbecue is the ideal dish: it was made by enslaved Africans with inspiration and contributions from Native Americans struggling to maintain their independence."
The truth is, however, "Enslaved Africans and Native Americans had a lot in common, culinarily-speaking: they had been cooking and eating in similar ways. despite [sic] an ocean between their civilizations. It only makes sense that, when their foodways, crops, cooking methods and systems of preservation, hunting, fishing and food storage collided, that there would be deep similarities and convergences of technique, method and skill."
That led to barbecue. And in the Americans, "enslaved men became barbecue’s master chefs." If indeed whites added anything to barbecue, they just "added to a base created by black hands forged in the crucible of slavery."
Twitty concludes, "Barbecue is laced with the aspiration of freedom, but it was seasoned and flavored by the people who could not enjoy any freedom on Independence Day for almost a century."
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