Tillman's Bar-B-Q is the oldest black-owned business in Beaumont. It's located in a dying neighborhood between the ExxonMobil plant and the Port of Beaumont. Longtime owners Eugene and Shirley Sam are kind, humble folks who love their neighborhood.
Their business was directly damaged by Hurricane Rita. More importantly, the surrounding neighborhood was both physically damaged and residents haven't returned from the evacuation. Combined, these factors have a devastating influence on their business and the neighborhood's future.
(Right) Eugene Sam chops wood at Tillman's Bar-B-Q Pit in Beaumont on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006.
Photos by Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise
(Below) Eugene Sam tends to the pit fire at Tillman's Bar-B-Q Pit.
Eugene Sam prepares meats in the pit at Tillman's Bar-B-Q Pit.
Shirley Sam prepares a meal at Tillman's Bar-B-Q Pit.
Images are part of the Charlton-Pollard series.