- By Judith A. Carney

Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas

  • Title: Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas
  • Author: Judith A. Carney
  • ISBN: 9780674008342
  • Page: 214
  • Format: Paperback
  • Black Rice The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first three centuries of settlement in the Americas Rice accompanied African slaves across

    Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice, yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first three centuries of settlement in the Americas Rice accompanied African slaves across the Middle Passage throughout the New World to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern United States By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South CarolFew Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice, yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first three centuries of settlement in the Americas Rice accompanied African slaves across the Middle Passage throughout the New World to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern United States By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South Carolina and the black slaves who worked them had created one of the most profitable economies in the world.Black Rice tells the story of the true provenance of rice in the Americas It establishes, through agricultural and historical evidence, the vital significance of rice in West African society for a millennium before Europeans arrived and the slave trade began The standard belief that Europeans introduced rice to West Africa and then brought the knowledge of its cultivation to the Americas is a fundamental fallacy, one which succeeds in effacing the origins of the crop and the role of Africans and African American slaves in transferring the seed, the cultivation skills, and the cultural practices necessary for establishing it in the New World.In this vivid interpretation of rice and slaves in the Atlantic world, Judith Carney reveals how racism has shaped our historical memory and neglected this critical African contribution to the making of the Americas.

    1 thought on “Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas

    1. Learned a lot, but the author was way too verbose and repetitive. Could have been summed up concisely in out 1/8 of the space. But recommend to anyone interested in the history of ricejust skim over some parts to save sanity.

    2. The African ConnectionNot long ago, it was common belief that rice was domesticated in Asia and brought to other parts of the world either by Muslims or European traders. Thus, if rice were cultivated in the Carolinas from the late 17th century on, the presence of that crop was due to some European intervention. Carney explodes this myth. Showing the existence of rice cultivation in West Africa for at least two thousand years and proving that a) the variety of rice plant is not the same as the o [...]

    3. While it's clear that Carney is well-acquainted with the rice portion of this book's thesis, I'm unsure of how acquainted she is with the history. She makes the rice very much the forefront of the story and her sources primarily focus on the crop. While she attempts to make a case for this to prove some form of cultural transfer across the Atlantic, it falls flat and many historians have rightly criticized her for not providing adequate sources as well as stretching the evidence and not being sp [...]

    4. This book represents doctoral research conducted in The Gambia (West Africa). It chronicles the evolution of the rice crop, which was grown only by women. 1984 archival discovery of a reference from 1823 saying that the Gambian rice cultivation could rival that of the Carolina. And then in Mexico, 1988, Mandinga road sign, abandoned rice fields. 1993 at UCLA found out that rice formed the basis of the plantation system in South Carolina (xi).African presence/legacy in the Americas; rice as a cro [...]

    5. Argues that African knowledges of rice cultivation technology lived on in the Americas. European racial bias has overlooked West African rice culture until the 1970s, implicitly considering it less developed than Asian rice due to racial inferiority. Carney demonstrates how African peoples had a very sophisticated Mangrove system, which involved irrigation, desalination, and clearing of forests to make rice. It is on these technologies that Carney rests most of her argument when comparing the op [...]

    6. This book is not exactly easy to get through. It is redundant at times, and would benefit with some restructuring. That said, everyone should read it, starting with elementary school teachers. This is the untold story - the dirty little secret about slavery. Whatever you think you know, you're probably wrong (or at least missing a big part of the puzzle.) I read it in one day and it was worth it.

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