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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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Rodney Scott

For Rodney Scott, barbecue is less a food and more an idea. He defines barbecue as “a reunion, a party for everybody to come and join in and enjoy each other’s company, a laid back event.” A barbecue acts as a gathering, a communion, a manifestation of the connections between people. Barbecue is love, and he loves barbecue.

In 1972, just a year after the birth of his son Rodney, Roosevelt Scott opened a convenience store/gas station in an oak grove off the highway in Hemingway, South Carolina. On the side, his wife Rosie Scott, aided by various family members, smoked a whole hog or two on the weekends.

Rodney first cooked his own pig at age 11. In his teenage years he rebelled against the family business, returning at age 17, just as 1 or 2 hogs became 4 to 6. Today, Rodney Scott, pitmaster and owner of Scott’s Bar-B-Que, oversees the slow-cooking of 8 to 10 hogs a night. Under Rodney’s watch, to spend a day hanging around Scott’s Bar-B-Que is to witness a backyard barbecue, a communion.

Date of interview:
2012-06-21 00:00

Rien Fertel

Denny Culbert

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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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