Judith Ann. CARNEY Harvard University Press, 2001 Library of Congress SB191.R5C35 2001 | Dewey Decimal 633.180975
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 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.
From jambalaya to risotto, curry to nasi kandar, few foods are as ubiquitous in our meals as rice. A dietary staple and indispensable agricultural product from Asia to the Americas, the grain can be found in Michelin restaurants and family kitchens alike. In this engaging culinary history, Renee Marton explores the role rice has played in society and the food economy as it journeyed from its beginnings in Asia and West Africa to global prominence.
Examining the early years of rice’s burgeoning popularity, Marton shows that trade of the grain was driven by profit from both high status export rice and the lower-quality versions that fed countless laborers. In addition to urbanization and the increase in marketing and advertising, she reveals that rice’s rise to supremacy also came through its consumption by slave, indentured servant, and immigrant communities. She also considers the significance rice has in cultural rituals, literature, music, painting, and poetry. She even shows how the specific rice one consumes can have great importance in distinguishing one’s identity within an ethnic group. Chock full of delicious recipes from across the globe, Rice is a fascinating look at how this culinary staple has defined us.
The once-obscure cuisine of Vietnam is, today, a favorite for many people from East to West. Adapted and modified over thousands of years, it is probably best known as a particularly delicious result of combining traditional southeast Asian cookery with visible outside influences—notably, the crunchy baguette—from its French-occupied past. Drawing on archeological evidence, oral and written histories, and wide-ranging research, Vu Hong Lien tells the complex and surprising history of food in Vietnam. Rice and Baguette traces the prehistoric Việt’s progress from hunter-gathers of mollusks and small animals to sophisticated agriculturalists. The book follows them as they developed new tools and practices to perfect the growing of their crops until rice became a crucial commodity,which then irrevocably changed their diet, lifestyle, and social structure. Along the way, the author shows how Việt cuisine was dramatically influenced by French colonial cookery and products, which introduced a whole new set of ingredients and techniques into Vietnam. Beautifully illustrated throughout and peppered with fascinating historical tales, Rice and Baguette reveals the long journey that Vietnamese food has traveled to become the much-loved cuisine that it is today.
Daniel Littlefield's investigation of colonial South Carolinianss preference for some African ethnic groups over others as slaves reveals how the Africans' diversity and capabilities inhibited the development of racial stereotypes and influenced their masters' perceptions of slaves. It also highlights how South Carolina, perhaps more than anywhere else in North America, exemplifies the common effort of Africans and Europeans in molding American civilization.
Nikky Finney Northwestern University Press, 2013 Library of Congress PS3556.I53R53 2013 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
In Rice, her second volume of poetry, Nikky Finney explores the complexity of rice as central to the culture, economy, and mystique of the coastal South Carolina region where she was born and raised. The prized Carolina Gold rice paradoxically made South Carolina one of the most oppressive states for slaves and also created the remarkable Gullah culture on the coastal islands. The poems in Rice compose a profound and unflinching journey connecting family and the paradoxes of American history, from the tragic times when African slaves disembarked on the South Carolina coast to the triumphant day when Judge Ernest A. Finney Jr., Nikky’s father, was sworn in as South Carolina’s first African American chief justice. Images from the Finney family archive illustrate and punctuate this collection. Rice showcases Finney’s hungry intellect, her regional awareness and pride, and her sensitivity to how cultures are built and threatened.