I recently had the opportunity to interview award-winning and acclaimed actor Anthony Anderson and comedic icon and sitcom star Cedric the Entertainer on my podcast, “The Blackest Questions with the Grio.” I invited them on to play my Black history trivia game, but I also wanted to learn more about their upcoming television show and line of barbeque rubs for our summer cookouts. As I spoke to the two legends, I realized that so much of life is spending time with the friends you love, people with whom you can embark on new adventures, and folks who will keep you laughing and challenging yourself.
I was curious to know more about how these two actors decided to launch a show about … barbeque! Anderson hails from Compton, C.A., but his father grew up in Arkansas and thus is partial to a more dry rub style barbeque. Cedric is from St Louis, M.O., and prefers the Texas style Barbeque so many people rave about. He likes that brisket style where it’s a little charred at the tips and you can dip it in the sauce. These two have launched AC Barbeque, a new barbeque rub that can be found in Walmart stores, and www.acbarbeque.com lets you know exactly which Walmart stores carry their new rubs. The three flavors are “Put Me on Errrything,” “Midnight Smoke,” and “Lemon Stepper.”
These two have been friends for well over two decades, cooking, golfing, laughing, and barbequing together. They also have a show on A&E Network series “Kings of BBQ” where they meet pit masters, sample “non-traditional” parts of the pig, and travel the country to showcase all of the diverse styles of barbeque found in the United States. The show also delves into the ways different regions prepare foods, build community, socialize, and take care of one another.
So much of our Black history is tied to food and community. We must learn the history of why we eat certain foods or why our ancestors prepared certain foods to nourish us. The concept of whole animal cooking has been a journey for me, and I am still discovering more delicacies passed down from our ancestors.
I definitely plan on picking up some of the AC Barbeque rubs, not just for my ribs, but also for my pork loins and fish. As I prepare for more summer fun with friends and family, I hope we will take the time to do a little more research on the history of some of the foods we love. I also hope the friendship or Anthony and Cedric inspires you to give an old friend a call or a text. And don’t forget to check out “Kings of BBQ” on A&E and snag some of the rubs for your summer gatherings.
Christina Greer, Ph.D., is an Associate professor at Fordham University, the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream”, and the co-host of the podcast FAQ-NYC and host of The Blackest Questions podcast at TheGrio.