The Racist Origins Of The Coffee Industry

Small cup of coffee
Leslie Taylor-Grover
January 4, 2021

Coffee originated in Africa, but the profitable plant was taken to the rest of the world by European colonizers. Everywhere Europeans went, they took coffee – and exploited our people.

Most coffee drinkers take sugar with their coffee. The coffee trade used the same abusive system as sugar – “Triangular Trade.” Ships would take coffee, and enslaved people, between Britain, West Africa, and the Americas.

Haiti once supplied half the world’s coffee – by working our people literally to death! After coffee addict Napoleon failed to colonize Haiti, coffee ended up in Brazil. Our people were tortured so mercilessly that most died within seven years of working on coffee plantations.

The “C-Price” is the way the market sets prices for coffee. All coffee, regardless of production costs or where it’s from, is priced the same. This keeps coffee bean laborers poor and at the mercy of rich coffee industry leaders.

Today, Central America and Asia are the top coffee-producing regions. Coffee has never been produced at the same levels in Africa again, because white colonization ruined the continent’s infrastructure and its ability to sustain the coffee industry

Coffee’s vile history demonstrates that we must support Black-owned businesses and fair trade coffee companies. This will increase our economic prosperity and help dismantle the violent system that exploits our people’s labor.

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