In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World

Overview

"The transatlantic slave trade forced millions of Africans into bondage. Until the early nineteenth century, African slaves came to the Americas in greater numbers than Europeans. In the Shadow of Slavery provides a new assessment of the Atlantic slave trade and upends conventional wisdom by shifting attention from the crops slaves were forced to produce to the foods they planted for their own nourishment." Many familiar foods - millet, sorghum, coffee, okra, watermelon, and the "Asian" long bean, for example - are native to Africa, while

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In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa's Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World

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Overview

"The transatlantic slave trade forced millions of Africans into bondage. Until the early nineteenth century, African slaves came to the Americas in greater numbers than Europeans. In the Shadow of Slavery provides a new assessment of the Atlantic slave trade and upends conventional wisdom by shifting attention from the crops slaves were forced to produce to the foods they planted for their own nourishment." Many familiar foods - millet, sorghum, coffee, okra, watermelon, and the "Asian" long bean, for example - are native to Africa, while commercial products such as Coca-Cola, Worcestershire sauce, and Palmolive soap rely on African plants that were brought to the Americas on slave ships as provisions, medicines, cordage, and bedding. In this book, Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff draw on archaeological records, oral histories, and the accounts of slave ship captains to show how slaves' food plots - "botanical gardens of the dispossessed" - became the incubators of African survival in the Americas and Africanized the foodways of plantation societies.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Higher Education

“[An] essential reading for anyone trying to understand the long-ignored interaction between environmental change, global commerce, natural knowledge, and slavery.”
Isle: Interdis Stds In Lit & Environ

“Essential to any environmentally informed study of slavery in the Americas.”
Common-Place

“This is a wonderful book, one I will recommend to colleagues, friends, and family alike.”
American Herb Assoc Newsletter

“A very readable account that envelops a sobering look at [the] slave trade.”
Economic Botany - Henry John Drewal

“An engaging and compelling narrative that opens our eyes and awakens our palates. . . . I highly recommend it to all.”
Technology And Culture

“A useful, entertaining, and exacting analysis of those theories and debates that have engaged economic historians for the last quarter-century.”
Jrnl African American Hist - Kellie Carter Jackson

“Groundbreaking. . . . This informative and enjoyable book offers not your regular meat and potatoes, but collard greens, cornbread, and gumbo.”
Agricultural History Review - Frederick Douglass Opie

“An important contribution to literature on the Columbian Exchange.”
Intl Journal Of African Historical Stds - Susanne Freidberg

“Shadow of Slavery is thorough, cogent, creative in its use of scarce historical materials, and beautifully illustrated with color plates.”
From the Publisher
"An important contribution to literature on the Columbian Exchange."--Agricultural History Review

"Shadow of Slavery is thorough, cogent, creative in its use of scarce historical materials, and beautifully illustrated with color plates."--Intl Journal of African Historical Stds

"A useful, entertaining, and exacting analysis of those theories and debates that have engaged economic historians for the last quarter-century."--Technology And Culture

"Groundbreaking. . . . This informative and enjoyable book offers not your regular meat and potatoes, but collard greens, cornbread, and gumbo."--Jrnl African American Hist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520269965
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Judith A. Carney is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of the award-winning book Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas. Richard Nicholas Rosomoff is an independent writer.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Introduction 1

1 Food and the African Past 6

2 African Plants on the Move 27

3 African Food Crops and the Guinea Trade 46

4 African Food and the Atlantic Crossing 65

5 Maroon Subsistence Strategies 80

6 The Africanization of Plantation Food Systems 100

7 Botanical Gardens of the Dispossessed 123

8 Guinea's Plants and European Empire 139

9 African Animals and Grasses in the New World Tropics 155

10 Memory Dishes of the African Diaspora 177

Notes 187

Selected Bibliography 239

Index 261

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