Black artist featured on Kingsford charcoal bag to recognize Black BBQ culture  

Brandan "BMike" Odums’ mural, called, “Pass It On,” will be featured on special bags scheduled to be distributed through Walmart locations across the country.

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A mural painted by a New Orleans artist on the side of a popular BBQ restaurant will be featured on packaging from Kingsford charcoal as part of a new initiative. 

The Preserve the Pit fellowship selects six aspiring Black barbecue professionals for immersive training and one-on-one mentorship with dedicated industry leaders throughout 2022, according to Kingsford’s website.

The website notes that the program is focused on providing hands-on training, relationship building, and financial advice to the rising chefs. 

New Orleans artist Brandan “BMike” Odums will contribute the art for the upcoming bags as part of the initiative, per NOLA.com

Odums’ mural, called, “Pass It On,” will be featured on special bags scheduled to be distributed through Walmart locations across the country. A portion of the sales from the charcoal bags will help fund the Preserve the Pit program, according to the report. 

Brandan "BMike" Odums thegrio.com
Brandan “BMike” Odums (Credit: Facebook/Odums)

Odums is the founder and director of 2-Cent Entertainment LLC—a youth education social enterprise that produces mixed media content and events in the overlap between pop culture and social awareness, according to the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans. 

Founded in 2005, 2-Cent began as a hip-hop-oriented, grassroots, entertainment company geared towards addressing problems in the community.

His work has been featured in the New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, published in two college textbooks, a memoir about community resistance, and illustrations in a cartography book about New Orleans, according to CAC New Orleans. 

He also produced a short film expressing views about the exposure of Katrina-damaged parts of New Orleans to inflate tourism money. The video went on to win in the 2008 Film Your Issue awards in Los Angeles.

The selection process is still open for fellowships from Kingsford for 2022. The company plans to award six fellowships and 10 small business grants, with applications open through March 1. Kingsford plans to assess applicants by “their connection to barbecue, contributions to the legacy of the Black barbecue community and commitments to fueling its future.”

Applications and program details are available online at PreserveThePit.com.

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