In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Food Legacy in the Atlantic World - The 23rd Carl O. Sauer Memorial Lecture

Lecture | October 23 | 4 p.m. | International House, Chevron Auditorium

 Judith Carney, Department of Geography, UCLA

 Department of Geography, Department of African American Studies, Center for African Studies, Center for Research on Social Change, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Mgmt. (ESPM), Berkeley Food Institute, 400 Years of Resistance to Slavery and Injustice

A striking feature of plantation era history is the number of first-person accounts that credit the enslaved with the introduction of specific foods, all previously grown in Africa. This lecture lends support to these observations by identifying the crops that European witnesses attributed to slave agency and by engaging the ways that African subsistence staples arrived, and became established, in the Americas. In emphasizing the African crop transfers that occurred between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, the discussion draws attention to the significance of the continent’s food crops as a crucial underpinning of the transatlantic commerce in human beings, the slave ship as a means of conveying African crops to the Americas, and the enslaved as active participants in establishing African foodstaples on their subsistence plots and in the foodways of former plantation societies.

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