Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Adrienne Petty-Roberts

Committee Members

Jerry Watkins III

Claire McKinney


In North Carolina, there is only one Eastern whole hog establishment left that is owned by black pitmasters. As a result of historical context, black pitmasters have been left behind by the recent trend of commercialization within North Carolina whole hog barbecue. This exclusion can be explained by examining the history of whole hog barbecue, the struggles black entrepreneurs face in the restaurant industry, and the role that the media has played in ignoring black pitmasters. Historical background dives into the history of the whole hog from the plantation era to the Civil Rights movement and beyond in North Carolina and, specifically African American communities, impacted the status of whole hog barbecue and black pitmasters in the barbecue cuisine and in the eyes of the American public. The struggles of black entrepreneurship also play a role as a result of black pitmasters having a lack of access to capital, inability to sustain family business, and continually rising costs of cooking whole hog barbecue. Finally, media plays a large role in preventing black whole hog pitmasters from being able to capitalize on the recent trend of commercialization as they have been traditionally excluded from media, such as newspapers and magazines, and continue to not be able to enter into newer mainstream media sources, such as the Food Network.