Edda Fields-Black

Producer, Librettist

Dr. Edda L. Fields-Black, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University in the Department of History has written numerous scholarly studies on the trans-national history of West African rice farmers, including Deep Roots: Rice Farmers in West Africa and the African Diaspora (Bloomington: Indiana University, 2014, 2008) and Rice: Global Networks and New Histories (co-edited with Francesca Bray, Peter Coclanis, and Dagmar Schaeffer) (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 2017, 2015), which was awarded the Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2015. From 2012 to 2016, Fields-Black served as a consultant for the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture’s permanent exhibit “Rice Fields of the Lowcountry.” Fields-Black is also a history consultant for the International African American Museum (scheduled to open in Charleston in 2020) and advised the “From Slavery to Freedom” permanent exhibit at the Senator John Heinz History Center. Fields-Blacks’ latest book is tentatively titled ‘Combee’: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and the Civil War Transformations among the Gullah Geechee uses a unique blend of primary sources for the Combahee River Raid to reveal Harriet Tubman’s Civil War activities, reconstruct the communities which were freed from enslavement on Lowcountry rice plantations in the June 1863 Combahee River Raid, and show the Civil War transformations among freed Blacks in the Lowcountry whose descendants are known today as the Gullah Geechee.

Requiem for Rice - Press Release