SHOP OUR BSB MEDIA FAVORITES
Asheville’s Appalachian Food Culture
Family Travel Guide to Asheville
Celebrating Asheville’s Appalachian Folklife and Unique Culture
Black Heritage Travel in the Outer Banks
Junteenth Family Travels
Asheville’s Appalachian Food Culture
Family Travel Guide to Asheville
Celebrating Asheville’s Appalachian Folklife and Unique Culture
Black Heritage Travel in the Outer Banks
Junteenth Family Travels
Asheville’s Appalachian Food Culture
Family Travel Guide to Asheville
Celebrating Asheville’s Appalachian Folklife and Unique Culture
Black Heritage Travel in the Outer Banks
Junteenth Family Travels

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

Black Women in the BBQ Supply Chain: Women with Knives

Black Women in the BBQ Supply Chain: Women with Knives

Black women have been using saws and other tools of the butchering trade for a long time. During slavery, Black women and Black men worked plantation and farm slaughterhouses, quartering livestock and cutting it into food for smoking, cooking and eating. Post-emancipation, Black women worked slaughterhouses as butchers. Charlotte Mansfield of Brooklyn (now known as Lovejoy), Illinois is one of the earliest (1910) documented Black female slaughterhouse butchers. 

As a part of service duties, some made sausages and charcuterie for white butchers. Many of the Black women who grew up on livestock ranches learned how to cut up whole animals as a function of their chores. Black culinary historian and chef Thérèse Nelson said in an interview, referencing hog-killing season, “Normally the men would do the actual slaughtering, but it would be Black women who would do the breaking down and the butchering.”

Today, Black women are working as butchers and meat-cutters as far as Nigeria – a country that bustles with female meat industry tradespeople – to some grocery stores and specialty shoppes in the United States. Until 2019, Louisa Mathis with business partner and butcher Jullene Cunningham, owned and operated Arcadian Pastures Butcher Shoppe in Brooklyn, NY. (Jullene was featured on the History Channel’s The Butcher.

Jullene Cunningham, Photo courtesy The Butcher, History Channel

Here are some Black women who butcher for business as well as provide food for their families.

Shayla or @darkbutcherbabe on Instagram works for a huge Atlanta grocery retail chain as a butcher. From her IG feed, we learn that she really loves being a butcher, and demonstrating cutting techniques. She also has a wicked sense of humor that shows up in the TikTok videos she posts. And the meat (post-butchering) is glorious. 

Leslye (@leslyeas) is one of a team of women butchers at John Brown General & Butchery in Maryland. Leslye has incredible knife skills, which she demonstrates on Instagram but you can also see her handiwork as a charcutier (one who makes charcuterie meats). 

Jem’ma Anduvate Ptáček (@jemmabelle11) is a culinary student and butcher’s apprentice in the Pacific Northwest. Her enthusiasm is palpable. Most people will probably be impressed with her knife skills on livestock, but her ability to clean fish is equally as impressive. 

As non-traditional as the trade appears on the surface in 2021, it is a skilled trade that is much in demand and an integral part of the BBQ supply chain. And Black women have and continue to butcher for profit as well as provision. 

Advertisements

Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebook

12

Comments

comments

Follow:
Robin Caldwell

Robin Caldwell is the blogger behind freshandfriedhard.com and academic researcher focusing on Black history, heritage and culture. Public historian primarily in Black American historical foodways: antebellum and regional.

Find me on: Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram
3   105
1   10
9   245
4   187
2   37

Follow on Instagram

Shop Our Favorites!
LEROY CAMPBELL CAREFREE HAND SIGNED AFRICAN AMERICAN ART
Gullah Spirit: The Art of Jonathan Green
35″” x 35″” Juneteenth by Synthia Saint James Canvas Art Print – Masterpiece Art Gallery
‘Beyonce’ Graphic Art Print on Wrapped Canvas Size: 18″ H x 26″ W x 1.5″ D
HBCU’s Canvas Print
A Different World (TV) 11 x 17 TV Poster – Style A
(27×40) Eve’s Bayou Movie Samuel L Jackson Lynn Whitfield Original Poster Print
Yes. Jesus Loves Me (Religious) – Katherine Roundtree 16×20 Black Framed
Dancing in The Living Room (Girls) – Katherine Roundtree 24×32 Black Framed – African American Black Art Print Wall Decor Poster
The Goodbye Kiss (Buffalo Soldier) – Katherine Roundtree 24×32 Black Framed – African American Black Art Print Wall Decor Poster
Amanti Art Funeral Procession Framed Art Print
Goddesses by Synthia SAINT JAMES Canvas Wall Art 3 Piece
227 – TV SHOW 80’S CLASSIC SHOW PRINT, GIFT FOR BEST FRIEND, FOR MOM, HOME DECOR, BLACK ART POP ART, FEMINIST
MASTER PIECE LESSONS GULLAH ISLANDS WALL ART, 35X35
GULLAH IMAGES: THE ART OF JONATHAN GREEN
GULLAH GEECHEE HERITAGE IN THE GOLDEN ISLES (PAPERBACK)
MASTER PIECE JOOK JOINT GULLAH ISLANDS WALL ART, 35X35
MY KIND OF NET ART PRINT BY GULLAH LIVING SERIES BY SAMANTHA CLAAR – X-LARGE
35″ X 35″ GULLAH GEECHEE CONJURE WOMAN BY SYNTHIA SAINT JAMES CANVAS ART PRINT – MASTERPIECE ART GALLERY
RING SHOUT GULLAH ISLANDS – UNFRAMED PRINT ON CANVAS WORLD MENAGERIE
MASTER PIECE GATHERING GULLAH ISLANDS WALL ART, 30X40
Shop Now

Click to Shop!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.

SHOP OUR FAVORITES
Shares