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Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

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Barbara Ann Bracy

Barbara Ann’s Bar-B-Que

Delars Bracy left his hometown of Ruleville, Mississippi, as a young man and headed for Los Angeles, where he went to college. Eventually, he ended up in Chicago, where he was reunited with Bertie, his high school sweetheart. After starting a family, Delars decided to go to law school and had a career as a criminal lawyer for years. But he was also an entrepreneur. Delars dabbled in a variety of business ventures before eventually deciding to open a restaurant. In 1967 he opened a barbecue joint on Chicago’s South Side and named it after his daughter, Barbara Ann. Soon after, he opened Barbara Ann’s Motel on the same lot. Today, Barbara Ann Bracy carries on her father’s legacy. You can get rib tips and hot links that have been cooked in the original aquarium-style smoker, and you can still get a room at the motel. Barbara Ann hasn’t changed a thing. Well, maybe two things: you can now find turkey links and barbecued chicken on the menu at Barbara Ann’s Bar-B-Que.

Date of interview:
2008-03-26 00:00

Amy C. Evans

Amy C. Evans

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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