By Jennifer Jensen Wallach, Rebecca Sharpless, Psyche Williams-Forson
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Additional info for Dethroning the deceitful pork chop : rethinking African American foodways from slavery to Obama
Jamaica, Sloane included an account he had received from planter Henry Barham, who told of Africans employing cassava to poison planters. ”40 Significantly, Sloane located information about the potential dangers of cassava in a supplement to Voyage, with the result that Africans’ acts of resistance are rhetorically separated from the body of the text and from the appropriate uses of cassava as bread. ”41 These accounts of Africans’ expertise with poison should be read with caution, for planters frequently used the term “poison” along with “witchcraft” to label Africans’ knowledge as illicit and in need 14 Archives of punishment.
Chapter 1 Foodways and Resistance Cassava, Poison, and Natural Histories in the Early Americas Kelly Wisecup While sugar is the food with which Africans in the early Americas are most closely associated, and certainly the food whose value as a commodity and consumable outweighed all others, sugar was produced to be consumed elsewhere and not by the people who produced it. 1 Moreover, Africans’ diets were determined to a large degree by planters’ financial concerns and, by the late eighteenth century, their attempts to maintain their labor force without metropolitan oversight.
Interviews with former slaves that were recorded as part of the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers Project captured some of the continuing influences of Native American cuisine on the diets of African Americans during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In one interview, Millie Evans described a number of recipes that indicated strong Native American influences. She described making ash pones from cornmeal by wrapping the ingredients in cornhusks (or collard greens) and covering them in hot coals for ten minutes.
Dethroning the deceitful pork chop : rethinking African American foodways from slavery to Obama by Jennifer Jensen Wallach, Rebecca Sharpless, Psyche Williams-Forson