- March 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #4019
Why do blacks barbecue in the front yard, even when they have a back yard? Perhaps this is a Southern thing for blacks, but I’m curious.
User Detail :Name : Len, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 55, City : St. Petersburg, State : FL Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, March 3, 2003 at 12:00 am #15551
I’ve always wondered the opposite: why do whites insist on doing everything in the back yard, when no one else does? It’s not just blacks who barbecue in the front, it’s also Latinos. We also tend to hang out in the front, have a beer in the front, even start a campfire in the front when it’s cold and generally hang out in the front far more than whites do, particularly whites in the suburbs. It seems to me that whites, especially middle and upper class ones, are far too concerned with having their front yards be solely for show. (An older set of posts in Y? Forum about whites and their obession with having perfectly manicured green lawns comes to mind.) They also seem to worry far too much about what the neighbors might think of them drinking beer or leaving ashes in the front yard. (And those ridiculous Draconian neighborhood association ordinances back up with legal force that ‘Pleasantville’ kind of homogenous conformity.)
It does also seem class related, because I’ve seen working class whites, especially country boys, not care so much about appearances. So you tell me: why are whites such tightasses about their front lawns? Why do many of you (not necessarily you personally) react with horror at the sight of people drinking beer and barbecuing, even calling the cops sometimes?
User Detail :Name : ACC25076, Gender : M, Race : Mexican and American Indian, Age : 36, City : Phoenix, State : AZ Country : United States, Occupation : Teacher, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, March 4, 2003 at 12:00 am #46893
We want to eat privately and not have uninvited guests.
User Detail :Name : Cynthia31752, Gender : F, Race : Asian, Age : 23, City : Toronto, State : NA Country : Canada, Occupation : Graduate Student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #14105
I didn’t know this was such a big deal. I’ve seen all sorts of people do this, especially whites in trailor parks (with what front yards they do have). For you to single out black people (as if all blacks barbecue in their front yard) makes me wonder if you have alternative motives. I find questions like these amusing because instead of being worried about important matters, people are asking things that have no relevance to the real world.
User Detail :Name : Dominique, Gender : F, Age : 20, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Scientist, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Lower class, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #18783
It’s definitely a class thing. Here in Venezuela, where we are all Latino (black, brown or white), you notice more privacy among the higher classes and more openness among the lower. Anyway, the higher up you go here in class, the whiter it gets, just like in the United States. So you see the upper-class neigborhood people doing things in their back yards, never in front. It’s not about the lawn, it’s about not having the whole neighborhood watching you eat and drink beer. The opposite happens in the barrios (slums), where people hang out in front, doors open, load music playing, so everyone can see. To me, ‘barrio’ style is more fun, but not appropriate in a classy neighborhood. Now, I’m sure that if a lower-class black family makes it big and moves to an upper-class white neighborhood, they’ll have their barbecues in the back like everybody else.
User Detail :Name : Nelson-A20167, Gender : M, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Age : 33, City : Caracas, State : NA Country : Venezuela, Occupation : Lawyer/Educator, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #19144
I’ve never owned a barbecue, but I would think that it would be more appropriate to do such things in the privacy of your back yard rather than the front yard and turn the neighborhood into a camping site. I think this is more a class thing, because my middle-class black friends are constantly complaining about inappropriate and uncouth things they see people do – hanging out on the stoop and drinking beer being one of these. I hardly think being concerned about the overall appearance of the neighborhood would constitute being a ‘tight-ass.’ I have a Dominican friend who refuses to let his two kids play in front of the house for fear of making the neighborhood look bad and having his home depreciate in value.
User Detail :Name : Jay31350, Gender : M, City : New York, State : NY Country : United States, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #27579
I think that is just a low-class thing. Rednecks and Latinos do the same, showing a lack of respect toward their neighbors and community, due to the loud noise and public consumption of alcohol.
User Detail :Name : Rick29870, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 41, City : Oakland, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Management, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #27793
I grew up in an impoverished African-American community where it was difficult to gain attention. It’s not like you can just go out and grab a new ride that everyone gawks at, or have the best front lawn in town … speaking of which, I moved to a suburban neighborhood where the whole lawn thing is true, and you know what the kicker is? Almost all of them pay for a landscaping company to do it. The pride is there, but who deserves the credit? Anyway, there were two main ways to go about getting notoriety: 1) get a wicked jump shot (as cube said), 2) bang and deal (not a good option) or 3) show off your cooking expertise … none of which costs a lot of dough, but, if you don’t have game, and don’t want to be a statistic, you choose option No. 3.
I’m white and can honestly say we don’t know the first thing about barbecuing. I’m sorry to say that a lot of you will never know what you’re missing.
User Detail :Name : craig, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 26, City : Albany, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : grad student, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #40563
In urban settings, white people traditionally hung out in the front because the back either didn’t exist or wasn’t pleasant. People would sit in front and visit with neighbors and passersby. In the suburbs, things are much more car-oriented: people get into their cars and drive away without so much as seeing, let alone visiting with, their neighbors. The front yard becomes strictly ornamental. White people are more suburbanized than others, but that’s changing. I know plenty of non-whites who would never dream of partying in the front. When I lived in a condo that was townhouse style, we all sat out front in the evenings. It was a small cluster of urban-style dwellings in a suburb. We did barbecue in back, but that’s because there was more room there. We would never have built a campfire in the front or back yard, though.
User Detail :Name : JerryS, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Jewish, Age : 52, City : New Britain, State : CT Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, March 10, 2003 at 12:00 am #42386
Interesting. I know one or two blacks, and I have never noticed this unless they did not really have a back yard. Of course, I grew up in the suburbs. Maybe this is prevalent in rural areas. If so, it’s not in the area that my family is from, since I spent many summers at my uncle’s house in a very rural area. Oh, yes, I am black.
User Detail :Name : Wayne24401, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 43, City : Orange, State : NJ Country : United States, Occupation : marketing, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #14176
It is simply a continuation of the usual obnoxious behavior that blacks tend to exhibit in almost every aspect of their lives: the louder they can be, the more attention they can draw to themselves, the more they can show everyone else how they can do what they want, where they want and when they want – the better they like it, and everyone else be damned.
User Detail :Name : Dan31682, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, City : Cleveland, State : OH Country : United States, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #15215
I can’t speak for any other suburban neighborhoods, but where I live, the back yards are built for barbequing. It’s more roomy, and decks are out back. Also, some have pools in the back yard. I’m black, and the few times I’ve had a barbeque, it’s been in the back. It’s not about preserving our front lawns (mine looks terrible) or about being ‘tight-assed,’ it’s a simple matter of convenience.
User Detail :Name : JR21131, Gender : M, Race : Black/African American, Age : 33, City : Franklin, State : VA Country : United States, Occupation : Systems Analyst, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #22892
Many opinions, none of them proven, from a white girl:
1) perhaps the back or front yard is closer to the kitchen/more convenient 2) perhaps the persons cooking in the front yard don’t mind neighbors coming over to socialize and be neighborly, like the people who like to sit on the front porch and chat with passers-by 3) perhaps the neighbors who cook in the back yard like their privacy, or are used to it, having moved from a rural setting (this would be why my family currently cooks in the back yard, oh, and the porch back there is bigger, too) 4) Was cooking on an open grill a reverse status symbol at one time? Akin to the rich white people with deep tans, not from doing hard outdoor labor, but from sitting around all day? So the reverse status symbol would be the minorities cooking outdoors, in the front yard where they can be seen. Please note none of these mentions drunkenness and loud carrying-on, which are not always combined with cooking outdoors, just rude neighbors.
User Detail :Name : B.J., Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Methodist, Age : 34, City : Tifton, State : GA Country : United States, Occupation : secretary, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Lower middle class, June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #37200
Oh my gosh! My family has been wondering for the longest time why all of our white neighbors grill on their driveways when they have big decks or patios in the back! None of the blacks in the neighborhood do it. And it has been this big question for us. We want to ask but that would be rude. But even at our old house, our white neighbors did it all the time. I do not live in a lower-class neighborhood: I live in an upper-middle class neighborhood In a mostly white area. So it has nothing to do with class or race. This is too funny – I’m going to have to show my dad this.
User Detail :Name : wendy24424, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Age : 17, City : Lansing, State : MI Country : United States, Occupation : high school, Education level : High School Diploma, Social class : Upper middle class, June 15, 2003 at 12:00 am #45008
Being white and growing up in the suburbs and now living in the city, I think I can offer a good explanation: In the suburbs we had the deck in back where we kept the grill, and the yard was bigger for kids to play in and parents to keep an eye on them. The kitchens was right off the deck so you could run in and out. Our front yard consisted of a driveway, my mom’s vegetable and flower gardens and trees. So the room wasn’t available. Now, living in the city, when I go to friends for BBQs, we do it in front because the porch is larger in the front, allowing for more seating. Most decks in my city at least are off the front of the houses. Backy ards are usually more crowded in the city with the garage, and trees, etc. So maybe it’s just that people choose to have fun where there is more room.
User Detail :Name : Amy, Gender : F, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Catholic, Age : 23, City : Buffalo, State : NY Country : United States, Occupation : Customer Service, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Lower middle class,
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.