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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.

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ORAL HISTORY

Barbara Brown


Demetri's BBQ

Born in 1946 in Marshall County, Alabama, Barbara Brown is the oldest of nine children. Her parents worked farms in North Alabama. When she married, she moved closer to Birmingham and began waitressing at a small restaurant in Tarrant City called The Castle.

In 1971 she started working for Demetri Nakos at El Rancho in Homewood, Alabama. When Nakos opened Demetri’s BBQ just down the road in Homewood, Brown joined him and worked there for forty-eight years.  She cooked and worked the dining room, memorizing regulars’ orders. She retired in 2019. Though retired, she comes to the restaurant to spend time with customers and employees.

Date of interview:
2020-01-22

Interviewer:
Michelle Little

Photographer:
Nicole Du Bois

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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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