Barbecue grills are heating up all over the country, but did you know how they got their start? 

The roots go back to the tobacco harvests of the South, and even further back, slaves who went through the Caribbean and picked up the cooking techniques and even the spices there.

The tradition even held during the most highly charged racial divisions we’ve had in this country — like the civil rights movement of the 1960s — and white folks would still eat at the most popular African American barbecue restaurants, and similarly, African Americans would eat at the white-owned barbecue joints. The conflicts just didn’t matter when it was time to get some BBQ.

OK, I think I need to go light some coals ...

For some great recipes and methods to use on your 'Cue, check the usual places

And for Michael Pollan's books, go here. If you need a recommendation, Omnivore's Dilemma is a fabulous place to start.

Lastly, he made a few more videos for Big Think. 

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