Pat Davis was just 10 years old when two black men came into his father’s barbecue joint in the heart of the Mississippi Delta in 1947. A huge fuss ensued, with four racists shouting every name in the book.
“My daddy went over to their table and said, ‘These are people who want to eat just like you want to eat. You don’t bother them. You leave them alone,’ ” Davis says, the incident seared in his mind six decades later.
Welcome to Abe’s BBQ, where civil rights were put to the test and won. In the end, racism took a back seat to slow-cooked pit barbecue. Today, Abe’s remains one of the oldest restaurants in Mississippi.