West African Cuisine: Southern Cuisine

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Southern cuisine is the result of a splendid cultural convergence, deriving from the intersection of three foodways: British, Native American, and West African. The West African influence was particularly strong in the cuisine of the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where, long before the rise of cotton farming, a rice economy dependent upon enslaved labor ensured that West Africans were present in large numbers from the early days of the colony.

But what if, for some reason, West Africans had not been brought forcibly to the Lowcountry, and their cultural influence had not been felt in the region? To be sure, the entire history of the colony would have taken a dramatically different course. Lacking its rice cash crop, Charleston almost certainly would not have become one of colonial America’s wealthiest cities. And, the food its residents ate would have been very, very different.

This should come as no surprise to people who know how extensive West African culture has been on the Caribbean, South, and North America. From innovative ideas, inventions, music, cuisine, mythologies, science, and so much more. Today’s focus will be on the cuisine aspect though. I’ve made other posts touching on this subject before, but there is so much rich history; one can only be compelled to keep discussing or showcasing the subject.

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/what-if-there-had-been-no-west-african-influence-on-southern-cooking/Content?oid=4833931

Afro-Asian Cuisine 

Afro-Asian Foods cut across many borders bridging and bringing flavours of the Middle East, Orient and Africa together.

http://sincereignorance.com/2014/09/14/afro-asian-cuisine/

Gumbo Origins

Gumbo: Derived from various Bantu dialects (Southern & Central Africa) terms for okra (i.e. quingumbo, grugombo, gumbo, gombo, ngombo gomboaud, ngumbo, ochinggombo).

http://sincereignorance.com/2014/11/23/gumbo-origin-and-words-of-african-origin/

Joesph JJ Johnson

“I came back a changed chef,” Johnson, 30, said. “Nobody wants to talk about how slaves took food and spread it across the world. I realized that I grew up on Diaspora food.”

http://sincereignorance.com/2014/09/14/meet-the-black-chef-whos-transforming-new-yorks-food-scene-after-taking-trip-to-africa/

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 4, Agriculture

Diverse groups of Africans from the coastal regions were highly skilled at clearing and cultivating forest land, an expertise that was unknown to Europeans at the time. One African technique involved burning delineated sections of forest and later using the ash for fertilizer, this had to be done carefully. Many also knew how to raise crops in semi-tropical and tropical soils; high temperatures and heavy rains cause nutrients to seep out more quickly than they do in temperate climates.

http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-4-agriculture/

Ferguson Triples Black Political Representation

Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 4, Agriculture

There was a desperate need for African agricultural skills in the Americas.

Diverse groups of Africans from the coastal regions were highly skilled at clearing and cultivating forest land, an expertise that was unknown to Europeans at the time. One African technique involved burning delineated sections of forest and later using the ash for fertilizer, this had to be done carefully. Many also knew how to raise crops in semi-tropical and tropical soils; high temperatures and heavy rains cause nutrients to seep out more quickly than they do in temperate climates.

The complex art of rice cultivation practiced by West Africans for centuries rescued the U.S. The technique and technology used for rice cultivation was unknown by Europeans outside of southern Italy at the time. Rice cultivation was one of the most difficult types of work one could do, working in knee-deep water every day. By 1750, South Carolina became the rice-growing center of North America; rice was the colony’s major export. Other crops introduce by Africans include, black-eyed peas, pumpkins, sesame seeds, kola nuts, cotton, yams, sorghum, muskmelon, and water-melon.

The agricultural skills of Africans and African-Americans garnered extraordinary wealth for the Americas and Europe.

List of Crops Introduced by Africans/African-Americans

black-eyed peas

pumpkins

sesame seeds

kola nuts

cotton

yams

sorghum

muskmelon

water-melon

okra

tania

kidney beans

lima beans

millet

red peas

Source:

http://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg

http://slaverebellion.org/index.php?page=crops-slave-cuisines

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140301-african-american-food-history-slavery-south-cuisine-chefs/

 Part 1: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-1-exploration/

Part 2: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/01/27/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-2-mining/

Part 3: http://sincereignorance.com/2015/02/03/africans-and-the-making-of-the-americas-part-3-herding/

Slave Revolts; The Gullah, Maroon, and Black Seminoles

“The Gullah Wars”

 (1739 – 1858)

The Seminole Wars/The 100 Years War


Gullah People:

http://www.claritypress.com/files/KlyVI.html
http://yale.edu/glc/gullah/index.htm
http://yale.edu/glc/gullah/index.htm

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/geechee-and-gullah-culture

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141017-gullah-geechee-heritage-corridor-lowcountry-coast-sea-islands-sweetgrass/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0607_wiregullah.html

http://gullahtours.com/

Maroon People:

Nanny, leader of the Windward Maroons is something of a mysterious figure in Jamaican historiography. Situated somewhere between mystic and martyr, rebel and myth, the former slave and military leader nevertheless occupies a place of great importance and reverence in Jamaica. The current and continuous debates concern not the existence of Nanny, but her level of participation in Maroon battles and the range and extent of her leadership. Priestess, warrior, spirit figure, Queen Mother�was she all of these things? Was she any?

http://scholar.library.miami.edu/slaves/Maroons/maroons.html

http://discoveringbristol.org.uk/slavery/against-slavery/black-resistance-against-slavery/the-maroons-of-jamaica/

http://www.yale.edu/glc/nanny.htm

http://www.blackpast.org/gah/queen-nanny-maroons-1733

Black Seminoles:

http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/07.htm

http://www.johnhorse.com/black-seminoles/black-seminole-slave-rebellion.htm

http://www.johnhorse.com/black-seminoles/faq-black-seminoles.htm

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmb18

http://peoplesworld.org/the-forgotten-rebellion-of-the-black-seminole-nation/

Sources:

Aptheker,
Herbert. (1939). Maroons Within the Present Limits of the United States.
Journal of Negro History, 24, 167-184

Aptheker, Herbert. (1974). American Negro Slave Revolts (New ed.). New York,
NY: International Publishers. (Original work published 1943).

Baird, Keith E. & Twining, Mary A. (1980, June). Guy B. Johnson Revisited:
Another Look at Gullah. Journal of Black Studies, 10, 425-435.

Bascom, William. (1941, January-March). Acculturation Among the Gullah Negroes.
American Anthropologist, 43, 43-50.

Bascom, William. (1991). Gullah Folk Beliefs Concerning Childbirth. In Mary A.
Twining & Keith E. Baird (Eds.), Sea Island Roots (p. 27-36). Trenton, NJ:
Africa World Press.

Berry, Mary Frances. (1971). Black Resistance/White Law: A History of
Constitutional Racism in America. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts
Educational Division, Meredith Corporation.

Boyd, Mark F. (1951, July). The Seminole War: Its Background and Onset. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 30, 3-115.

Brown, Wille James. (1956). The Negro and the Seminole Wars. Unpublished
Master’s Thesis, Florida A & M University.

Coe, Charles. (1974). Red Patriots: The Story of the Seminoles. Gainesville,
FL: University of Florida Presses. (Original work published 1898).

Covington, James. W. (1966, July). Episode in the Third Seminole War. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 45, 45-59.

Covington, James. W. (1982). The Billy Bowlegs War: 1855-1858 The Final Stand
of the Whites. Chuluota, FL: The Mickler House Publishers.

Craven, Frank Wesley. (1971). White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth-Century
Virginian. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Creel, Margaret Washington. (1990). Gullah Attitudes Toward Life and Death. In
Joseph E. Holloway (Ed.), Africanisms in American Culture (p. 69-97).
Bloomington, IN: Indiana Press.

Cromartie, J. Vern (1984). Gullah Strata People: Historical Notes on the
Geechees. Unpublished Master’s Paper, California State University, Hayward.

Cromartie, J. Vern (nee Jimmie Levern Cromartie). (1987, December). Maroons and
Other Forms of Slave Resistance Within the Present Limits of Georgia,
1733-1865: A Chronology. Unpublished Master’s Special Project, California State
University Hayward.

Davis, T. Frederick (1930, October; 1931a, January; 1931b, April). United
States Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813 Part IV. Florida Historical
Quarterly

Deagan, Kathleen, & Landers, Jane. (1999). Fort Mose: Earliest free
African-American Town in the United States. In Theresa A. Singleton (Ed.),
“I, Too, Am America”: Archeological Studies in African-American Life
(p. 261-282). Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Foster, Laurence. (1978). Negro-Indian Relationships in the Southeast. New
York, NY:AMS (Original work published 1935).

Giddings, Joshua R. (1858). The Exiles of Florida: Or, the Crimes Committed
Against the Maroons who Fled from South Carolina and other Slave States Seeking
Protection Under Spanish Laws. Columbus, OH: Follet, Foster and Co.

Goggin, John M. (1946). The Seminole Negroes of Andros Island, Bahamas. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 24, 201-206.

Hancock, Ian. (1986). On the Classification of Afro-Seminole. In Michael B.
Montgomery & Guy Bailey (Eds.), Language variety in the South: perspectives
in the Black and White (p. 85-101). University, AL: University of Alabama
Press.

Harding, Vincent. (1981). There is a River: The Struggle of Black Freedom in
America. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Johnston, James Hugo. (1929, January). Documentary Evidence of the Relations of
Negroes and Indians. Journal of Negro History, 14, 37-40.

Katz, William Loren. (1986). Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. New York, NY:
Atheneum.

Kly, Yussuf N. (1998). The Gullah War: 1739-1858. In Marquetta L. Goodwine and
The Clarity Press Gullah Project. (Eds.), The Legacy of Ibo Landing: Gullah
Roots of African American Culture (p. 19-53). Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, Inc.

Kly, Yussuf N. (1999, May/June). The Gullah Wars: The Hidden American
Anti-Slavery War… Islamic Horizons, 28, 42, 45.

Krogman, Wilton Marion. (1934, October). The Racial Composition of the Seminole
Indians of Florida and Oklahoma. Journal of Negro History, 19, 421-422).

Littlefield, Daniel F. (1979). Africans and Creeks: from the Colonial Period to
the Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Milliganm John D. (1974, Spring). Slave Rebelliousness and the Florida Maroon.
Prologue, 6.

Morse, Jedidia. (1822). A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States
on Indian Affairs.

The “Negro Fort” massacre

http://libcom.org/history/negro-fort-massacre



 

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