We may not have a cent to pay the rent but we’re gonna make it
I know we will
Dorothy Turner Everett said "I thought that I would never earn more than $2.00 dollars an hour. With nine children I always believed that God would make a way for us. I had a dream. I wanted to build something that my children could fall back on. He answered my prayers."
Growing up this song by Little Milton was on repeat in our house. By then my mom was a single parent. My dad and mom divorced and Dad moved to Albany, New York. She played this song to encourage herself that everything would be alright.
We’re Gonna Make It
Sung By Little Milton - May 19, 1965
Written By: Billy Davis, Carl Smith,
Gene Barge, Raynard Miner
We may have to eat beans every day
but we’re gonna make it, I know we will.
And if a job is hard to find
And we have to stand in the welfare line
I’ve got your love and you got mine
So we’re gonna make it, I know we will.
We may not have a home to call our own
But we’re gonna make it, I know we will
We may have to fight hardships alone
But we’re gonna make it, I know we will
Cause togetherness brings peace of mind
We can’t stay down all the time
I’ve got your love and you know you got mine
So we’re gonna make it, I know we will
Our car may be old, our two rooms cold
But we’re gonna make it, I know we will
We may not can spare a roach a crumb
But we’re gonna make it, I know we will
And if I have to carry around a sign
Sayin help the deaf, the dumb, and the blind
I got your love and you know you got mine
So we’re gonna make it, I know we will
We’re gonna make it
We’re gonna make it, baby
It might seem hard sometime
But don’t worry, darlin baby
We’re gonna keep on tryin
My mother was born Dorothy Turner on July 28, 1932, in rural Choctaw County, Alabama. She was the oldest daughter of eight children from her mother Maybelle Everett. Her father Leslie Turner and her mother Maybelle were never married.
Dorothy worked at a domestic cleaning house in Alabama until, as part of the wave of African Americans leaving the segregated south looking for a better life. She migrated to Oakland, California in 1952, with her husband the late Reverend Cleveland A. Everett, and three young daughters.
Dorothy’s first job in California was cleaning houses in the city of San Leandro. Dorothy later worked at Wolf’s Records in West Oakland on the historic 7th Street selling popular black records- they were called "race records" back then to the growing Black population in West Oakland. Dorothy also worked as a waitress at the Continental Club on 12th Street in West Oakland, where she saw legendary Blues performers live, and later as a cook at the Original Jenkins Bar-B-Que on 7th Street in West Oakland.
Two natural forces were born in 1973, Hip Hop and Everett & Jones Barbeque, both will celebrate 50 years in 2023. Five decades of Everett and Jones Barbeque, which continues to succeed and inspires the third generation of family pitmasters and BBQueens. My late mother and five deceased siblings' legacy will live on! Black Girl Magic!
To read more about West Oakland's famous and historic 7th Street BBQ and Blues Legacy, click on the link 7th Street Barbeque Legacy
Boy, do I have a barbeque story to tell, and it is like none other! This past weekend I got confirmation that my enslaved 5th great grandfather, Joe McLean, was born in 1775, in Barbecue, a small Township, in Harnett County, North Carolina. Thanks to my newfound DNA cousin Robert Lucas, who lives on Barbecue Church Road, and his family, we followed their car on a guided tour of the land where my ancestors toiled in the fields as slaves. We parked our cars on the grounds of Barbecue Presbyterian Church, near the cemetery. I had arrived.
That Sunday morning, I had dressed in layers with black pants under my skirt for church. My niece Yvette told me that I was going to be too hot, but I had my reasons. I wore the bracelet Yvette had given me for Christmas that she had made for me that had pictures of my late Dad, Mom, and five deceased sisters, Virginia, Dorothy, Mary, Yolanda, and Angie. I had been determined to bring my family with me when I walked on the land where our ancestors had lived. As soon as the car stopped I jumped out, I quickly got rid of the skirt grabbed my Everett and Jones Barbeque 50th Anniversary apron, and ran to my destiny. I had come home.
It was my family’s destiny to go into the barbeque restaurant business. It’s in our DNA! That burning passion I have for smoking, grilling, history, researching, storytelling, and late nights on Ancestry led me to Barbecue Church Road, in Barbecue Township, North Carolina. I brought my family with me to share in this moment of acknowledgment and fulfillment. Dirt from North Carolina and a small pinecone sit on my desk in a sealed mason jar. A daily reminder of my full circle moment. Barbeque is more than a meal it is a lifestyle!
On May 15, 2023, I posted this story on the Saucy Sister’s Blog some history of Barbecue Township https://www.everettandjones.com/saucy-sisters-blog/dna-confirmed
Not only is there a Barbecue township, but there is also a Barbecue church, and the church sits on the corner of Barbecue Church Road. Barbecue Presbyterian Church is older than the country. It was founded in 1757 by Scottish Highlanders from Scotland (At the time it was spelled barbeque). The church was named after the nearby Barbecue Creek. But check this out, there are no barbecue restaurants in Barbecue! I guess they want you to bring your own barbecue. . . Lol! There is however a Barbecue Creek Park.
So, I kept digging and found out that the origins of the name Barbecue came from a famous Scottish explorer and colonizer named Neill McNeill, who arrived in the Cape Fear River valley, North Carolina in 1739, according to historian Malcolm Fowler in his 1955 book “They Passed This Way.” The story goes those mists rising from a creek reminded Neill of barbecue fires smoking in the West Indies (Barbados). He named the creek Barbecue Creek. It became a named landmark on early land grants. He is given credit for naming the township Barbecue. Guess what . . . 3% of my DNA is from Scotland.
Update: from my notes
This same book said that the Scottish explorer and colonizer Neill McNeill is also given credit for introducing barbecued meat to the valley. I’m sure the Native Americans might have something to say about that. Neill’s barbecues were legendary. A whole beef, surprisingly not pork which North Carolina is known for, would be prepped and barbecued over wood charcoal by a man of African and European ancestry (a Black man) named Abraham Carter. He was the one doing the actual work. He was Neill’s servant from the West Indies (Barbados). If a whole animal was cooked that means it was probably cooked in a pit dug in the earth. Awe yes . . . the old hole-in-the-ground cooking technique perfected by African Americans. Was Abraham Neill’s slave? Was Abraham, a Black man, the first pitmaster in North Carolina? Technically Abraham Carter from the West Indies (Barbados) introduced barbecued meat to North Carolina and not the Scottish explorer Neil McNeill. . . I’m just saying.
Here is an update to the DNA Confirmed story.
Follow #dnafamilyfestival2023 for more photos and videos
While you are here ....
Please join us for the Everett & Jones BBQ 50th Anniversary featuring an Art Exhibition by Fine artist Kenneth McGhee & the new book titled “Brickhouse” by Shirley Everett-Dicko on her families history in the barbecue industry and the history of “brick ovens” and Black women as pitmasters ! We’ve got Art talks, book signing & reading, Blues, BBQ & Beer, demos and sample tastings. And more. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Eventbrite! That’s Saturday, July 1st, 6-9pm. See you soon’
Tomorrow, May 16th is National BBQ Day! Perfect time to share this news. I took a DNA test and traced my enslaved fifth great-grandparents, Joe & Jenny McLean, to a small town in North Carolina called Barbecue. I kid you not, there is a small town in Harnett County, North Carolina, called Barbecue. Let me say that one more time for the people in the back. My fifth great-grandparents came from a town called Barbecue. I was born and raised for this...Legacy! Smoke runs through my blood. I was born to BARBEQUE! I am about to choke from all this smoke!!! These stunna shades are on to block out the haters. This girl is on fire!!!
Of course, I had to do some digging. I began by Googling Barbecue, North Carolina. Not only is there a Barbecue town, but there is also a Barbecue church, and the church sits on the corner of Barbecue Church Road…LOL. Turns out the Barbecue Presbyterian Church is older than the country. The Church was founded in 1757 by Scottish Highlanders from Scotland. The Church was named after the nearby Barbecue Creek. But check this out, there are no barbecue restaurants in Barbecue! They want you to bring your own barbecue to... wait for it…Barbecue Creek Park.
So, I kept digging and found out that the origins of the name Barbecue came from a famous Scottish explorer named Neill McNeill, who arrived in the Cape Fear River valley, North Carolina in 1739, according to historian Malcolm Fowler in his 1955 book “They Passed This Way.” The story goes those mists rising from a creek reminded Neill of barbecue fires smoking in the West Indies. Neill named the creek Barbecue Creek. It became a named landmark on early land grants. Neill is given credit for naming the township Barbecue. Guess what . . . 3% of my DNA is from Scotland.
July is National Grilling Month!
Join us at the BBQueens Art Exhibit & BBQ
Shout out to the Swingin’ A’s! Today, April 16th at the Oakland Coliseum, is the reunion of the 1973 World Series Champions the Swingin’ A’s. Those were the days, of the 1973 team from 50 years ago, Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, Sal Bando, Blue Moon Odom, Catfish Hunter, Bert Campy, Billy North, Rollie Fingers, Joe Rudi, etc., heroes from 50 years ago are still remembered.
1973 is a monster year for me. Not only is it the 50th anniversary of my family business Everett and Jones Barbeque it is also my 50th high school class reunion. The first restaurant had only been opened a couple of days before I graduated from Fremont High School in Oakland where I was a head song girl (we danced during halftime and at rallies). Because my school’s colors were green and gold, we got asked to participate in some of Swingin’ A’s special events - like World Series victory parades and rallies. I’m living my life like it's golden - Jill Scott.
So, while I got your attention, I am looking for the mighty, mighty tigers from the class of 1973! Our 50th class reunion will be held on September 16, 2023, at Geoffrey’s. Check out the information below. See you there!
Relive the Swingin' A's 1973 World Series. Go A's!
By Shirley Everett-Dicko
It was a day for the history books! Flint’s, KC’s, Carmen and Family, and Everett and Jones Barbeque, four legendary Bay Area BBQ dynasties now led by 3rd generations of Black women, were recognized and inducted into the Bay Area Barbeque Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at an event held at the African American Museum & Library in Oakland.
Everett and Jones Barbeque sisters Shirley Everett-Dicko and Helen Bellamy created the Bay Area BBQ Hall of Fame back in 1993 in celebration of its business's 20th anniversary. In an afternoon event in celebration of Everett and Jones Barbeque’s 50th anniversary, the sisters saluted fellow Black women for their outstanding contributions to the rise in prominence of Bay Area barbeque on the national scene.
Shirley Everett-Dicko told the crowd that we have to change the narrative that is excluding Black women from the American BBQ story and highlight and tell our own stories. Everyone in attendance received a jar of Everett and Jones Barbeque ‘Super Q” sauce after a lively BBQ history quiz. It was a fun-filled afternoon of women empowerment packed with BBQ knowledge. The future of BBQ is female. When Black women lead, others follow! Happy Women's History Month.
The History of Everett & Jones Barbeque’s Toy Drive
As tributes pour in for football great, Hall of Famer, John Madden who passed away, December 21, 2021, some may reflect on his contributions to the game of football on and off the field, but here at Everett & Jones Barbeque he holds a special place for a different reason. We are thankful for Madden '90. No, not the video game bearing his name that caused a craze in the gaming industry. The Madden '90 I am speaking of was the year he started the Everett & Jones Barbeque’s annual Christmas Toy Drive and Giveaway.
Annie Pearl Everett-Jones, sister #2, tells the story of how their friendship began in1990. She was sitting in her office at the Pleasanton location (Yes! There was a Pleasanton and Dublin location before it became the metropolis it is today) when Mr. Madden approached the counter asking to speak to the owner. Pearl says she came out, he introduced himself and complimented her on how much he enjoyed the food.
That conversation led to many others which included tours of his famous RV (The Madden Cruiser), meeting of his wife Virginia, family, friends, and work associates. She even visited the family home in Black Hawk and the production studio where he filmed his commercials and other productions. During one of their conversations, Mr. Madden said he wanted to buy some toys and donate them to kids for Christmas and asked if she would help? There were two stipulations: Pearl had to agree to distribute the toys to kids in the community, and he wanted to remain the secret Santa. The deal was made and the relationship between John Madden, Everett & Jones Barbeque, toys, and happy, smiling kids began.
Mr. Madden donated over 300 toys that year and each year afterwards for the next 5 years. The toys were delivered to the restaurant, by his wife and team, carefully wrapped and labeled according to age and gender. The same great coach who led the Oakland Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI, also changed the game for Everett & Jones Barbeque and their community outreach.
When it was time to throw a pass, other sisters were there to receive it. They started purchasing gifts and seeking other donors to continue what he started. Shirley Everett, sister #4, took the toy drive to the Fruitvale location in Oakland in 2005. She opened a novelty store called Santa’s Crib, adding a live Santa, and giving the kids an opportunity to take free pictures with him, elevating the game.
Mary Everett, sister #5, took the toy drive to the Berkeley location in 2010. She partnered with the Bay Area Corvette Club and added extra flair by trading in Santa's red sleigh for a shiny yellow Corvette, matching the kid’s bright smiles. Touch Down! With what John Madden started Everett & Jones Barbeque has successfully distributed over 10,000 toys to Oakland-Bay Area boys and girls ages 6 month to 16 years old since 1990.
There is no doubt John Madden will be remembered as a game-changer for many great things. It is because of him that the Oakland Raiders were Super Bowl Champs in 1977, Video gamers have enjoyed playing football games from the Madden series since 1988, and Everett & Jones Barbeque has had an annual toy drive for the past 31 years.
We are grateful for his contributions and motivated by his inspiration. We honor him and will continue to build upon his work. For more information about the annual toy drive and giveaway please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Yvette Jones-Hawkins
I remember the day I met Santa’s mama. It was in 2007, and her name was Peggy Hart. She was browsing in the Everett and Jones Barbeque's gift store, on Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland, and we started talking.
Mama Claus, whom I call Peggy, told me about her son, Shawn, whom she laughingly said had a big belly, would make a perfect Santa for our annual toy giveaway. She said Shawn often helped out at her daycare, and was good with kids. She added that he could also be available for the Pictures with Santa schedule.
You see, at the gift shop during the Christmas season, we offered the neighborhood kids free pictures with Santa, but our schedule was limited to the availability of our volunteer Santa, but that all changed when Peggy showed up. According to his mama, Shawn would be available whenever we needed him. Even Santa has to listen to his mama.
Peggy sent Shawn to meet me and she was right. He was the perfect Santa! And ever since that wonderful day, Shawn Hart has been the official Everett and Jones Barbeque Santa. For 12 years he has been dedicated to spreading joy and love to thousands of kids that have come through the Everett and Jones Toy giveaways, that is until the Covid-19 pandemic shut down everything in 2019 and 2020 forcing us to cancel the annual event.
Now COVID-19 restrictions have eased and we can resume the celebration. But where is Santa?
I was given the task of finding him, so what did I do? I called his mama, and after a wonderful trip down memory lane, she gave me his contact info.
And guess what, y'all?… Santa Claus is coming BACK to town!. Hallelujah! Amen! He will make his appearance December 18, 2021, at Everett and Jones Barbeque Berkeley location, 1955 San Pablo Avenue. Shawn is doing his part to continue the work of my sister, Mary Everett, at her Christmas toy drive and giveaway in the city of Berkeley. All children and adults must wear a mask.
9 days to go until the Dec 18, 2021 toy give away. Drop off toys at any Everett and Jones Barbeque location. Online registries are also available with delivery options:
Amazon: Mary Everett’s Christmas Toy Drive/Everett & Jones BBQ
Target: Mary Everett Christmas Toy Drive’s Charity Registry
What does Santa do on his off time, you ask?
He runs his own daycare center. That's right! Santa still serves kids.
Shawn’s daycare is called Hart 2 Heart, located at 816 56th Street, Oakland, CA 94608.
This God fearing man has given so much to the kids and the community. It's time we give back to him.
I recall one day when a lady was visiting her mother in the nursing care facility on Fruitvale Avenue and Brookdale. She saw Shawn standing across the street in full Santa dress, doing his Santa thing of waving at passing and honking cars. This lady ran across the street, and asked if he would come inside the nursing home and visit with her mother. Shawn did not hesitate. He did what was asked and followed the lady into the home. He would not miss the opportunity to spread joy and love.
We are so grateful for Shawn Hart and his willingness to help spread Christmas cheer, and his mother, Peggy for the introduction.
We have an opportunity to give Santa a Christmas gift this year. Peggy told me Shawn’s wish is to have a new play structure in the backyard for the children enrolled in his daycare and started a Go Fund Me page to make that happen. Let's make him smile this time. Here is the link: gofund.me/c74e1c8a
Ron Zeno, who had been the Children’s Fairyland Santa for 20 years, gave a Santa workshop for new Santa's; Shawn was his star student.
Go to flip book link: Mary Everett Obituary & Photo Gallery
Celebrating the Life of
Mary L Everett
Sunrise: April 26,1956
Sunset: September 25, 2021
October 13, 2021, 11:00 a.m
Craneway Pavilion, Richmond, CA
Watch the homegoing service here
Looking for an agent/publisher for a proposed new barbeque book from a Black woman's perspective 50 years in the game.
(C) 2016 Everett and Jones
All Rights Reserved