In both cases, we were exploited by the White man.
They profited from the knowledge and bodies of PoC, either destroyed our successes or took them over to claim them as their own.
They don’t have any fucking shame.
Few Americans identify slavery with the cultivation of rice, yet rice was a major plantation crop during the first three centuries of settlement in the Americas. Rice accompanied African slaves across the Middle Passage throughout the New World to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. By the middle of the eighteenth century, rice plantations in South Carolina and the black slaves who worked them had created one of the most profitable economies in the world.
Black Rice tells the story of the true provenance of rice in the Americas. It establishes, through agricultural and historical evidence, the vital significance of rice in West African society for a millennium before Europeans arrived and the slave trade began. The standard belief that Europeans introduced rice to West Africa and then brought the knowledge of its cultivation to the Americas is a fundamental fallacy, one which succeeds in effacing the origins of the crop and the role of Africans and African-American slaves in transferring the seed, the cultivation skills, and the cultural practices necessary for establishing it in the New World.
In this vivid interpretation of rice and slaves in the Atlantic world, Judith Carney reveals how racism has shaped our historical memory and neglected this critical African contribution to the making of the Americas.
this is tied to why there were some armed revolts against whites who tried to take parts of the south carolina rice plantations away from Black families who had set up communities on them after slavery. the Black families tilled the land, made it fertile, and did all of the work and knew all of the expertise. but they were being kicked off the land and told they needed to “earn” it by “working” and “saving” to “own” their own land. which you know, they worked and tilled and made plentiful in the first place.
Same damn thing happened in Southern California with Asian immigrants. Every single white attempt to farm the region failed, for although the soil was extremely fertile it was also rocky and hard-packed in a way that made it impossible for the white model of single-family homestead farming to work. Many Asian immigrants took up this “impossible” farming challenge after being forced out of the gold fields by a combination of white terrorism and white supremacist laws, and solved it by using large scale collective labor techniques.
California responded with a new round of racist laws saying that “persons not eligible to gain United States citizenship” — a category which, at the time, consisted solely of Asian immigrants — could not own land. A dozen other states promptly followed suit for fear of Asians moving there from California. In fact, the people of New Mexico voted to keep the anti-Asian land ownership clause of their state constitution in 2002, and the people of Florida voted to keep the anti-Asian land ownership clause of their state constitution in 2008.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the real story of how the California breadbasket — the most productive agricultural zone in the entire world — was born.
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