End the erasure of enslaved labor from Carolina Plantation Rice labels

End the erasure of enslaved labor from Carolina Plantation Rice labels

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Diane Klein started this petition to Carolina Plantation Rice

"Carolina Gold" is an extraordinarily delicious American heirloom rice with a deep African-American Gullah history.  That history is entirely erased on the packaging used by Carolina Plantation Rice.  This must change.  Please join me in calling on Carolina Plantation Rice to tell the truth about the history of Carolina Gold.  

The packaging for "Carolina Gold" has a section called "History of the Golden Grain" that reads like this: "In 1685, a distressed merchant ship paid for repairs in Charleston with a small quantity of rice seed from Madagascar. Dr. Henry Woodward planted the seed in South Carolina, beginning the state's 200 year history as the leading rice producer in the United States.  At the turn of the century, rice cultivation ended in the low Country South because of a weak market, inadequate machinery, and competition from the Gulf States." 

This history entirely omits the contribution of enslaved captive Africans, which was essential to rice cultivation in South Carolina.

It is outrageous to purport to tell the story of Carolina Gold, a leading cash crop during the antebellum period, without even mentioning the essential contributions of enslaved captive Africans - not only their labor, but their skill and expertise - brought from the Rice Coast in Africa to grow rice in South Carolina.  The Gullah Geechee people of the Sea Island region labored during slavery and afterwards to grow this rice, which made South Carolina rich, in the slave labor camps euphemistically called "plantations."  To continue to sell this rice today and erase this history is not acceptable.

 

 

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