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Update on Rice Cultivation at Orton Plantation

The famous Orton Plantation (about which I’ve blogged I number of times) appeared in the News and Observer this week. Orton is owned by a billionaire with ancestral ties to the plantation. He is interested in growing rice there but … Continue reading

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The New ‘Green Book’ for South Carolina

The original Negro Travelers’ Green Book form 1936 served as a travel guide for African Americans navigating the Jim Crow South. The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission has created a new, Green Book of South Carolina, appropriately updated to … Continue reading

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Requiem for Rice in the news

The artist Jonathan Green along with Edda Fields-Black, a well-known scholar of Atlantic rice culture, are making progress toward the “Requiem for Rice.” The Post and Courier ran a thorough introduction to this ambitious, and assuredly powerful musical piece that … Continue reading

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More Housing on Rice Plantations

For much of the post World War II period rice plantations around Charleston have been converted from agricultural to suburban developments. In fact, it’s impossible to imagine present-day Charleston along the Cooper and East Cooper areas without that re-development process. … Continue reading

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The Rice Kingdom and Trinidad’s Merikans

Last December I had the great pleasure of taking part in the inaugural Hill Rice Symposium in Trinidad that Francis Morean organized. The occasion also marked the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Merikans to Trinidad. A Hill Rice … Continue reading

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The Requiem for Rice Getting Attention

For many months several distinguished figures interested in expanding the public’s understanding about Lowcountry rice culture, Dr. Edda Fields-Black and artist Jonathan Green have been planning, creating and recruiting to make the “Requiem for Rice” a reality. The completed composition … Continue reading

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A History of “Ashley’s Sack”: An Artifact of Rice Kingdom Slavery

Among the most evocative and unique items in the new National Museum of African American History and Culture is a textile dubbed “Ashley’s Sack.” Historian Mark Auslander recently published an account of the likely provenance and history of the sack. … Continue reading

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Geechee Recognition in Florida

The Gullah/Geechees in the northeast corner of Florida get much less attention than those in Georgia and South Carolina. This piece from St. Augustine shows that the Gullah-Geechee Corridor is having an effect there too. Wherever Geechee are you also … Continue reading

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Slavery, Public Memory, Education and the Rice Kingdom

No aspect of the Rice Kingdom’s past is more fraught now than gaining a proper understanding of what Lowcountry slavery was like in scope and texture. We can’t truly know it, but we can come much closer than we have. … Continue reading

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DNA Analysis Shows Some American Rice Varieties Originate in Africa

Historical amnesia is powerful. For two hundred years or more, white rice planters in the Rice Kingdom denied that Africans contributed any thing but brute labor to rice culture. Thanks to scholars from many disciplines that amnesia has been replaced … Continue reading

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