In Solidarity for George Floyd

Dear Friends,

Since 2014, the core mission of “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice” has been to memorialize our enslaved ancestors, mourn the souls of blacks who were enslaved on Lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia rice plantations, their bodies unburied, their suffering unmourned, and their sacrifices unmarked for future generations, and celebrate the critical role enslaved Africans’ ingenuity, technology, and industry played in the economy of the US South.  

By creating beautiful art out of the painful history of enslavement, we strive to create an opening for all oppressed peoples to tell our stories and celebrate our contributions to the world. Now, more than ever before, we must raise our voices and we must tell our stories.

Rest in peace George Floyd (October 14, 1973-May 25, 2020). 

In solidarity.

“Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice” September Tour of West African Rice Fields

I traveled by boat and road to tour rice fields and talk with cultivators in 5 villages, 3 ecosystems, and 2 countries (it was no small feat!). The trip was planned by Jose (Ze) Felipe Fonseca and his many colleagues and friends.

When I told Ze that “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice” composer, John Wineglass, wanted to come along, he welcomed John with open arms, giving him an opportunity to experience West African rice fields (after we had made 2 trips to the SC rice fields) and record authentic sounds that John will incorporate into the original score.  Our entire trip was captured by Bissau’s own Demba Sanha of TV Kiele and his crew for the “Making ‘Requiem for Rice’” documentary.

I am grateful to the US Embassy in Republic of Guinea Bissau, Instituto da Biodiversidade e das Áreas Protegidas (IBAP), Confederation of Farmers’ Organizations (KAFO), Agricultural and Livestock Cooperative (COAJOQ), and Ministry of Culture in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for sponsoring my trip and providing logistical support.

Rice grows in water and needs water to grow. We planned the trip to coincide with the end of the rainy season when the torrential rains have ended, but rain still falls at night. September is also the time when cultivators were transplanting rice from the rice nurseries to the rice fields in the mangrove rice fields and weeding rice in the fresh water swamps.

Thankfully, Mother Nature cooperated!

Highlights from our trip:

  • Bissau- I met with and learned about the work of specialists in mangroves, soils, and hydrology at IBAP
  • We drove down the main roads in Bissau and seeing rice fields and mangroves in the city!
  • Bolol- I learned about memories of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and traveled with Rose Ebony Custis, Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Senegal
  • Djalicunda- we visited KAFO’s beautifully forested campus, met beautiful and vocal yellow song birds (which are unfortunately the enemies of rice farmers!), visited the seed bank, and learned of all the innovative strategies Executive Director, Sambu Seck, and his team are using to help farmers, particularly women.
  • We visited rice fields where women were transplanting and weeding rice and dancing for our local camera crew, TV Kiele ).
  • Mansoba- I pounded rice with a lady in Mansoba who gave me her pestle as a souvenir (The pestle reminded me of my great grandmother’s “maul” and I cried like a baby.
  • Djalicunda- we enjoyed a musical performance of West African classical music at KAFO by amazing chora players and griots.
  • Mansoa- we visited the mangrove rice fields in Mansoa that seemed endless.  Upon arrival, we were greeted by the dancer who encourages the young men working in the rice fields and observed young people transporting rice seedlings from the rice nurseries to the fields.  I transplanted rice with female farmers, watched young men prepare the rice fields with fulcrum shovels, and attended a village meeting officiated by Sambu Seck in which we introduced our mission and the cultivators asked for assistance from KAFO.
  • We presented our research at IBAP. I presented “Rice History in Pre-Colonial and Stave Trade Periods on West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast” and “‘Queen Rice’ and the Making of the Gullah Geechee;” John presented “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice”.

“Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice” in the South Carolina Rice Fields!

John Wineglass and I set out for South Carolina in late August, the hottest and buggiest time of the year. He wanted to approximate as best we could the working conditions to which our ancestors had been subjected.  There had been plenty of rain, so the mosquitoes cooperated! Thankfully, the snakes and alligators stayed inside; it was probably too hot for them.

 Thanks to my colleague, Dr. Travis Folk of Folk Land Management, Inc. we were able to tour managed and unmanaged rice fields that have gone back to cypress and sweet gum tree forests and record sounds of insects, birds, and water flowing in and out of different parts of the hydraulic irrigation system.

The highlights of my trip were:

  • learning the differences between cypress trees (with their “knees” sticking out of the soil or water)
  • standing next to a cut down cypress tree and imagining how enslaved men cut it down with hand tools
  • driving an air boat through tall grasses in the rice fields!

I have been researching rice and rice farmers and tramping through rice fields on both sides of the Atlantic for the past 25 years.  Hanging out with my artistic collaborators, John, and my scientist collaborators, Travis, has opened my eyes and ears to the music of the rice fields! It is transforming “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice.” And, it is changing how I write history

The Requiem Continues…Thanks to GPAC!

Please forgive our silence! 

John and I have been so busy since the Orchestral Debut of Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice.  If you were with us at Carnegie Music Hall on February 13, 2019 and you heard the first three movements of John Wineglass’ haunting composition, which Jeremy Reynolds, classical music critic for Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described as “[opening] with chaotic, sweeping scales in winds and strings and harsh brass chords” and praised the performance as a “small taste of what promises to be a grand dramatic homage to the darkest chapter of American history,” then you know that we MUST finish this work!

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As Executive Producer (i. e. Fundraiser and Connector-in-Chief), I have been raising money so John can finish the original score and laying the groundwork for Phase Two of the project, producing Julie Dash’s film installations.  And, I am getting the documentary “Making ‘Requiem for Rice’” off the ground. It will take viewers on an emotional and musical journey of technology, enslavement, and family and will be directed by Pittsburgh’s own EMMY-Award Winning filmmaker, Emmai Alaquiva.  John has been writing, writing, writing and talking to orchestras around the country about programming Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice for 2020 and beyond!  

We got a huge endorsement this week, a LIFT Grant from The Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council! This $20,000 grant will enable John and I to travel to visit coastal South Carolina and Georgia to tour rice fields and coastal wetlands with scientists and slave cabins, record authentic sounds from the rice fields and sounds of the steam-powered equipment used to process rice in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the Lowcountry’s commercial rice economy.  Immersing himself in the land is critical to John’s creative process.  John and I traveled to SC in October and November 2018 as he composed the first three movements of Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice.  But, it is very important to him to visit the rice fields in the summer to experience the heat, humidity, mosquitoes, snakes, alligators, and other critters! The summer is when our enslaved ancestors hoed rice in the fields.  August would have been the beginning of flooding, when enslaved laborers opened the floodgates to flood the rice fields. The stagnant freshwater nourished the rice, but also created a deadly environment for planters, overseers, and enslaved laborers, breeding mosquito and water-borne illnesses.  It was the deadliest time of the fieldwork cycle.

Stay tuned as we head South to do this important work.  Please wish us well and cross your fingers for a cool-front!

Thank you truly for your ongoing support!

The Orchestral Debut of Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice

cropped-cropped-cropped-requiem_emailheader.jpg2019 marks the 400th anniversary since African captives were first brought to the United States when a Dutch ship carried the 20 shackled captives to the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia. In honor of this important anniversary, Carnegie Mellon University is showcasing a special Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, the Orchestral Debut of Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice presented by the Colour of Music Festival (COMF) on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at Carnegie Music Hall (Oakland) at 7pm.

A new report, “Teaching the Hard History of American Slavery,” by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance Project, finds that secondary schools in the US widely fail to teach a nuanced history about enslavement and enslaved people in the US.  Too often, when the subject is taught, it is “mistaught, mischaracterized, sanitized, and sentimentalized,” leaving students poorly equipped to understand contemporary issues of race and racism.[i]  America’s students are still being taught that enslaved people were brute and not skilled laborers who contributed little to the antebellum economies of the US South.

Yet, West African rice production technology—developed by farmers in the Upper Guinea Coast more than 500 years before the trans-Atlantic slave trade—laid the foundation for South Carolina’s commercial rice industry.  The agricultural skill, ingenuity, and technology of enslaved Africans made coastal South Carolina rice planters the richest planters with the largest slave holdings in the US South.  The floods that fertilized the inland and tidal rice fields also created deadly living environments.  Tens of thousands of enslaved men, women, and especially children perished in the stagnant, cold, mosquito- and disease-infested swamps.

“‘Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked’ is a new approach to teaching slavery, one that takes the humanities into a new realm. We are taking history off the shelf and putting it on the stage,” said Fields-Black.

Paul Gardullo, curator of the Smithsonian exhibit, said “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked” is a powerful demonstration of the role art and music can play in bringing back the memory of people who should have never been forgotten.

 “By breathing life into this history and seeking a way to express not just the horror of racial slavery but the creativity and resilience people of African descent who cultivated crops and shaped the landscape while keeping their lives and culture whole, ‘Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked’ will fill a massive silence in the history that no book or archive can. This work is a transformative force for truth-telling, for healing, for reckoning and for beauty within and despite pain,” said Gardullo, who also serves as director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture’s Director, Center for Study of Global Slavery AND Curator, “Power of Place” Exhibition.

“Our ancestors lost their youth, health, lives and children as a result of reshaping the coastal landscape, carving rice fields out of cypress swamps, building earthen embankments and moving as much earth with hand tools and baskets as was displaced to construct the Panama Canal, and engineering hydraulic irrigation systems. Yet, there are no memorials to commemorate their appalling sufferings, involuntary sacrifices or immeasurable contributions,” Fields-Black said.

Conveying this history through a union of classical music, African tradition, and nontraditional musical genres results in a dynamic experience that will take on emotional qualities and be a better teaching mechanism than disseminated material alone ever could be.

Casop: A Requiem for Rice is THRILLED to introduce our composer, John Wineglass

Dear Friends,

We are over the moon with excitement to introduce Emmy award-winning John Christopher Wineglass as the composer for Casop: A Requiem of Rice!

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Wineglass is perhaps known best for his film scoring of the popular television series All My Children, for which he has received three Emmy Awards and seven EMMY nominations. A classical violist and self-taught pianist with a passion for jazz and gospel, he has always identified as a performer – evidenced by the fact he has performed for every president since Ronald Reagan and alongside a long list of GRAMMY Award-winning artists including Aretha Franklin, CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Richard Smallwood, Blackstreet, Loris Holland, Bashiri Johnson, Victor and Roy Wooten, and Andrae and Sandra Crouch. Since moving to California, he has performed regularly with the Monterey Symphony as a permanent substitute.

The composer earned a BS in Music Composition from American University in 1994, supplemented by a minor in Viola Performance. Five years later he completed his MA in Music Composition with a concentration in Film Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television at New York University. Wineglass’s acceptance of an internship writing music for All My Children launched his acclaim in the TV and film world. In addition to his EMMY awards he has received three ASCAP Film and Television Music awards. He has composed scores for shows on MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS and ABC as well as documentaries, Headliners & Legends with Matt Lauer, and tv shows like American Idol. With most of his experience in the independent film realm, Wineglass held the title of composer and conductor at The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Silent Film Festival where he debuted his Tired of Giving In and Gabriel Goes for A Walk. You’ve probably also heard his music on nationally broadcasted commercials with the U.S. Army, the American Red Cross, and Texaco.

Wineglass’s experience writing for the cinema, where he contributed to independent films, television, multimedia, and documentaries, made him an expert at writing what music historians call “programmatic music;” he is a master of composing music that tells a story. His decades of performing experience, alongside his classical background, eventually led him back to the concert hall.

Recently, Wineglass has been known for his immersive, collaborative commissions with traditional performing arts groups. In 2012 Wineglass wrote Someone Else’s Child for Narration and Orchestra, which premiered at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music 50th Anniversary, conducted by the highly regarded Marin Alsop. The piece is orchestrated around poetry written by children detained at juvenile detention facilities in Santa Cruz, CA.

Since then, Wineglass has continued to work closely with specific communities to help facilitate the accurate representation of their people’s history, values, and achievements. A month-long residency at Glen Deven Ranch through the Big Sur Land Trust inspired Wineglass’s Big Sur: The Night Sun, a symphonic tone poem in which he contemplates the vast and profound beauty of the landscape’s mountains and ocean and brings justice to the Indians who lived off the land far before the Europeans arrived and subverted them. It premiered in October 2017, conducted by Anthony Parnther.  Don’t miss San Bernardino Symphony’s premiere of Big Sur: The Night Sun: www.sanbernardinosymphony.org/Season_Preview.html.

Wineglass’s most recent premiere was a commission with the Stockton Symphony, a multimedia collaboration called Sights and Sounds of Stockton. Wineglass wrote the music, which he called “classical and jazz meeting together,” in collaboration with San Joaquin Delta College photography students’ work. Wineglass felt as if he was able to capture the students’ feelings for their city, and all involved were beyond excited to create and perform something so representative of their community.  Take a look at the Stockton Symphony’s season opener and premiere of Sights and Sounds of Stockton (conducted by Peter Jaffe), https://stocktonsymphony.org/concert/classics-1-sights-and-sounds-of-stockton-world-premiere-guest-artist-anthony-trionfo/.

On October 27th the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra will premiere Wineglass’s Voices of the West, which the group commissioned in celebration of its 90th anniversary, conducted by Laura Jackson. The piece will showcase the region’s rich cultural history, incorporating Spanish, Mormon, and African American musical influences while honoring first responders and the juxtaposition of the landscape’s natural beauty and the man-made infrastructure which allow for such a vibrant residential and commercial community.  Share in the premiere of Wineglass’ Voices of the West: https://www.sanbernardinosymphony.org/Concert_2.html.

Wineglass’s involvement in our project is exhilarating in the context of his commitment to a such a wide array of community-based orchestral commissions. Furthermore, Casop: A Requiem for Rice strikes a personal note for the composer, as his family roots trace to Beaufort and Georgetown, SC, two important rice-producing regions in the South Carolina Lowcountry.

I’m amazed that I get to take this journey—there are no words!”  John Wineglass

Wineglass and I will immerse ourselves in the rice fields from the end of October until the end of November. We will share our journey on R4R’s website and invite you to join us on the discovery. The experience will inform Wineglass’s writing of the original contemporary classical music score for Casop: A Requiem for Rice, a piece of artistry you will not want to miss!

Won’t you join us for the Orchestral Debut of Casop: A Requiem for Rice and hear John Wineglass’ magic for yourself?!

The box office is open: www.requiemforrice or www.colourofmusic.org.

Have a beautiful weekend!

Edda L. Fields-Black, Ph. D., Executive Producer and Librettist, Casop: A Requiem for Rice

Sugar and Smoke brings lowcountry faire to Casop: A Requiem for Rice

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Sugar and Smoke, Pittsburgh’s newest restaurant, will serve up a lowcountry feast during the Casop: A Requiem for Rice fundraising event.

September 22, 2018, 5-9pm
“Casop: A Requiem for Rice” Fundraising Event 

PRE-CONCERT TALK, “KREUTZER SONATA” PERFORMANCE, RECEPTION, AND POSTPERFORMANCE VOCAL SERENADE
(Fundraising Event Ticket also includes ticket for 9/21 “Casop: A Requiem for Rice” Choral Performance) Frick Environmental Center, Pittsburgh, PA

The menu includes:
Appetizers
Mini Buttermilk Biscuits/Smoked Andouille Sausage Ettouffe
Black Eyed Pea & Collard Green Crustini — Vegan
Fried Green Tomatoes w/Spicey Remoulade Sauce –Vegan
She Crab Bique w/Creme Fraiche & Chives
Creole Gumbo w/green rice & Fried Okra — Vegan

Strolling Dinner
Shrimp & Grits w/Grilled Peppers, onion, sausage& smoked cheddar
Low Country Smothered “Brown Stewed” Chicken
Grilled Vegetable Jambalaya — Vegan/Gf
Red Beans & Rice (Collard Greens) — Vegan/Gf
Green Rice w/Lima Beans, Peas & Asparagus — Vegan/Gf
Cheddar Jalapeno Cornbread w/Honey Butter

Strolling Dessert
Chocolate Benne Wafers
Grandma’s Lemon Bars
Coconut Cake Trifle
Sweet Potato Tart — Vegan
Cinnamon Rice Pudding — Vegan/Gf


 

More about Sugar and Smoke

Sugar and Smoke proudly presents our southern cuisine and “white glove” home hospitality from the best of the Carolinas, Louisiana, and Texas.

Our Sugar and Smoke selections features a collection of offerings sure to please every palette including our vegan friends. With selections such as Cheddar Shrimp and Grits or our She Crab Bisque with Fraiche and chives paired with Pinot Grigio. Also dive into our fried green tomatoes, vegetarian jambalaya or creole gumbo designed to satisfy all of your guests.

Let’s not forget Sugar!

Desert features are sure to entice with sweet potato tarts, coconut cake or our delectable Chocolate Benne Wafers.

Visit: Sugar and Smoke, 4428 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15224

Understanding Casop: A Requiem for Rice

fieldworkchild.markedMany of you may have noticed, Requiem for Rice came to a crossroads in 2017.  When we started the project in 2015, the Creative Team envisioned Requiem for Rice as simultaneously a modern take on a classic requiem—in the spirit of Verdi, Mozart, Faure, and Britten—that mourns the souls of the enslaved who died on Lowcountry rice plantations, their bodies unburied, their suffering unmourned, and their sacrifices unmarked for future generations.  As Trevor began to compose, I completed the first draft of the libretto, and we began collaboration on arranging the lyrics, we began to feel as if something was missing. The requiem genre from the European classical music tradition provided a vehicle for the piece to lament and mourn the sacrifices and sufferings of Africans enslaved on Lowcountry rice plantations; but, it left no room to protest the injustices of enslavement, exploitation, and terror, a commercial agricultural system built on the backs of people stolen from West Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast, African genius, African bodies, African labor, African tears.  We thought, there had to be a RECKONING before the REQUIEM.  Casop: A Requiem for Rice was born.

CASOP is pronounced kəsəp; both the “a” and “o” in casop are pronounced like the initial “a” in “cassava” or the “u” in “custard.”

Casop is a funerary tradition among the Diola-Fogny, quintessential rice farmers along the Casamance River of present-day Senegal.  In the event of untimely, accidental, and suspicious deaths, Diola-Fogny ritual specialists performed casop, a “ritual interrogation of the corpse” via spirit possession.  During the funeral, the deceased was asked to tell his or her story about the circumstances of death.  Once the truth was revealed, the dead would be buried and harmony and peace restored to the community.

In Casop: A Requiem for Rice, tens of thousands enslaved laborers on the Lowcountry’s rice plantations and 12 million Africans who endured the Middle Passage, many of whom died untimely, accidental, and suspicious deaths, will speak.  Once the dead have told their story, the lamentation will turn to celebration of the critical role enslaved Africans’ ingenuity, technology, and industry played in the economy of the US South, laying to rest once and for all, the shackles of shame, blame, guilt, and denial that pervade this painful period in our nation’s history.  Casop: A Requiem for Rice reclaims African and African-American history and fosters reconciliation.  

A true marriage between West African and European classical traditions, Casop: A Requiem for Rice is an African-American inspired take on a classic requiem.  By telling the stories of Africans enslaved on Lowcountry rice plantations, Casop becomes a new genre, the vehicle through which oppressed and voiceless peoples from around the world can tell their stories, mourn their dead, and celebrate their contributions to the world.

The Box office opens July 15th for the September 21, 2018 “Casop: A Requiem for Rice” Choral Performance and September 22 Colour of Music Festival’s “Casop: A Requiem for Rice” Black Classical Renaissance Benefit Performance. For tickets, visit requiemforrice.com

With your support, we can tell this important story!

Edda L. Fields-Black, Ph. D., Executive Producer & Librettist
Trevor Weston, Ph. D., Composer
Julie Dash, Filmmaker
David Claessen, Cinematographer

All ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and individual gifts will benefit the development of “Casop: A Requiem for Rice.”  For more information about corporate sponsorships and individual gifts, please contact Adam Causgrove, Associate Director of Corporate Relations, Carnegie Mellon University, Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, (causegrove@cmu.edu; 814-397-6388).

Lowcountry Rice in the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Across the world many people are celebrating and rejoicing over the September 24 opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I am overjoyed to have helped the curators in the creation of NMAAHC’s Lowcountry rice exhibit! My first book is titled Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (Blacks in the Diaspora) — three of my photographs from my fieldwork in Rio Nunez region of Guinea are also in the exhibit!

The NMAAHC is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opens, it will be the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.

Read more about the NMAAHC.

I was invited to attend the NMAAHC’s Collection Donor Preview & Reception on September 17. The physical structure looks amazing. My first reaction was to shout: “IT’S BEAUTIFUL!”

NMAAHC outside

Here’s a great two minute time-lapse video of the NMAAHC being built over 52 months.

Checking in to the event, with my invite in hand, I stood in line behind Nikki Giovanni and could not help reciting “Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day!”

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Here I am in front of the exhibit – so honored to have my photographs included in this important space.

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West African/Lowcountry rice is permanently planted at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture! The harvests it will yield will educate millions about the contributions West African technology, labor and ingenuity of enslaved laborers, and suffering and sacrifices of Africans enslaved on Lowcountry rice plantations.

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Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was the Lowcountry’s hydraulic irrigation system for flooding and draining millions of acres of rice.

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This section is still under construction! I didn’t get to see the rice film after reading the script.

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This piece is about the life and work in the Lowcountry.

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Africans enslaved on Lowcountry rice plantations sold into the internal slave trade.

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The have onsite a Point of Pines slave cabin from Edisto, South Carolina.

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NMAAHC Receives Piece of Sea Island History With Slave Cabin Aquistion
NMAAHC Receives Piece of Sea Island History w/ Slave Cabin Aquistion

Speaking of which, here is a great blog post by the NMAAHC that explains the significance of the slave cabin they received with the help of the Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society. The story reveals the palatable intersections of history, people and the people who preserve history for the rest of us. Here’s a video about the acquisition.

 

So much to see at the NMAAHC. I encourage you all to visit as soon as you can. When you visit, let me know what you think: use #RequiemForRice whenever you experience the Lowcountry exhibit.

 

 

Rethinking the end of the commercial rice industry

I ran across this informative article that introduces us to new, mysterious full-color video of African-American men and women reaping rice with sickles in the Lowcountry.

Watch the video and read the full article by reporter Hanna Raskin in The Post and Courier.

From The Post and Courier's July 20, 2016 article "Home movie from the 1940s captures traditional reaping methods at Willtown Bluff"
From The Post and Courier’s July 20, 2016 article “Home movie from the 1940s captures traditional reaping methods at Willtown Bluff”

Historians have described the commercial rice industry ending in the 1890’s as a result of a series of devastating hurricanes. After the Civil War, freed Blacks’ refusal to do “muck work” made repairing the hydraulic irrigation system on which the industry depended (and which was little used during the last years of the war) difficult if not impossible.

New evidence, including this video from Colleton County, should cause us to rethink this position. Commercial rice production may well have continued into the second half of the 20th century and with a free Black labor force. There are many examples of free Black families throughout the Lowcountry growing rice in their farms for consumption into the mid-20th century as well.

What are your thoughts?