In celebration of our 48th anniversary (Memorial Day) and Asian American Pacific Islander Month (which ends on Memorial Day this year) I took a look back at our 20th anniversary, and how we, some Black women from Oakland, California, created the Bay Area Barbeque Hall of Fame.
The year was 1993, 28 years ago, the Everett and Jones Barbeque family- Mama Dorothy, her eight daughters, one son and son-in-law were celebrating their 20th anniversary in business with an all you can eat barbeque buffet tribute dinner for their mother Dorothy Everett.
A who's who of notable dignitaries and local celebrities were invited and/or in attendance. Award winning Tied House brewpub, the first microbrewery in Silicon Valley, was one of the sponsors. John Madden’s sons Joe and Mike acted as bartenders. Movie film producer and Fantasy Records executive Saul Zantez, who won the academy award for best picture three times, sponsored a table. Toby Gene Livingston, president of the East Bay Dragons, was there on the dinner program as a speaker. Black Baptist minister, Reverend Memphis Jenkins, and Chinese American Harry Mock were the first inductees.
I wrote about 7th Street in West Oakland and the legacy of Rev. Memphis Jenkins here.
Harry Mock, an immigrant from China, a naturalized American citizen, and a U. S. Army Corps veteran of World War II, who served from October 23, 1942 to November 30, 1945, with an honorable discharge, was a top of the line butcher and operated a meat market specializing in supplying quality meats to Bay Area barbeque legends; Jenkins’ Original Bar-B-Que, Flint’s, Everett and Jones, C&C Bar-be-que, Carmen’s and Family, etc. You are only as good as your meat and sauce!
Noted Oakland library historian Steven Lavoie, from the Oakland Tribune newspaper and Bill Mandel from the San Francisco Examiner newspaper documented this amazing event. We kicked off our heels and danced all night to the music by the Bay Area Blues Society. You see back in the day that’s how we Black folks inaugurated a BBQ Hall of Fame! That shit was the bomb! We are not your average BBQ joint!
My souvenir t-shirt from the night’s event has faded somewhat, and my souvenir booklet has BBQ stains on the back cover, all just wonderful reminders of an historic night in Oakland’s rich barbeque history. This event was one of my favorite moments celebrating cross cultures and acknowledging their important roles in Bay Area barbeque history.
Rev. Memphis Jenkins and Harry Mock worked together to create Oakland-style barbeque, and just like the two legends we have to work together to stop the hate against both communities. Black Lives Matter and we must stop Asian hate! Also, stop erasing African Americans and Asian Americans from America’s barbeque story.
Happy #AAPIHertiageMonth and Happy 48th anniversary Everett and Jones Barbeque, now cue up music, because it's our “Anniversary!” sang it Tony! Toni! Tone’! From Oakland with love.
1993 20th Anniversary Souvenir Book and Program
By Shirley Everett Dicko and Yvette Jones-Hawkins
(C) 2016 Everett and Jones
All Rights Reserved