African Archaeological Review

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 157–159 | Cite as

Judith Carney and Richard Rosomoff, In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World

University of California Press, Berkeley, 2009, 280 pp. ISBN 978-0-520-25750-4
  • Mark W. Hauser
Book Review

Judith Carney and Richard Rosomoff explore the complex history of “humble foods” from West Africa to the Americas and in so doing attempt to correct popular images of Africa’s past and present: “that of a Hungry Continent” (p. 1). In the Shadow of Slavery is an ambitious book that reconstructs and inserts Africa’s botanical legacy into broader transatlantic narratives such as the Columbian Exchange—a term coined by Alfred Crosby in 1972 describing the intercontinental circulation of plants and animals following Columbus’s landfall somewhere in the Bahamas in 1492. In so doing, the authors continue a theme begun by Carney (2001) in her book Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas: the role of enslaved Africans as agents in Atlantic World substances and subsistence practices (see Eltis, Morgan, & Richardson 2007 and Hawthorne 2010for a review of the debate surrounding this book). The authors utilize a geographical approach and insights on historical texts...


  1. Carney, J. (2001). Black rice: The African origin of rice cultivation in the Americas. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Eltis, P., Morgan, D., & Richardson, D. (2007). Agency and diaspora in Atlantic history: Reassessing the African contribution to rice cultivation in the Americas. The American Historical Review, 112(5), 1329–1358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hawthorne, W. (2010). From "black rice" to "brown": Rethinking the history of risiculture in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic. The American Historical Review, 115(1), 151–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Mintz, S. (1985). Sweetness and power: The place of sugar in modern history. New York: Viking.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanston and ChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations