Decades ago, White’s Bar-B-Q in Longview, Texas, was a lively establishment, frequented by Black Americans throughout the area, including singer Ray Charles.
Under White’s leadership, it looks like this new venture will be a success.
“The grand opening was just so exhilarating because of the support that the community has given me. When people come in, they will see things in the past; they will see themselves when they were younger,” she said. An example: “One young lady held a birthday party here, a private deal, and she was sitting here with all of her friends and it was so happy. Everybody was happy. It was just like back in the day.”
The menu, a blend of ribs, brisket, chicken legs, and sausage, is a callback to its earlier flavors.
Texas has always had a fraught history with Black restaurateurs. While the state is known for its delicious barbecue, ranking exceptionally high compared to its Southern counterparts according to YouGov, it also has a fair amount of racist history.
The Library of Congress completed an extensive recorded history of Texas’ segregation era and its escalation of violence. Years ago, Black diners were excluded from many restaurants, leading them to eat at Black-owned establishments instead. This eventually built a community among the South’s Black Americans as these restaurants served as safe spaces for civil rights organizers, according to Southern Living.
The state has a rich history of Black-owned restaurants. For an extensive list, visit the Texas Restaurant Association.
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Source: Black Enterprise