Well before the slave trade began, African countries led the world in farming and agriculture. White captors sometimes stole seeds from the continent, and often enslaved people brought seeds over themselves. Once planted, many of these crops have lasted and have become so ingrained in American culture that their African origins have been long forgotten.
Let’s not forget.
Yams were the most common food enslaved Africans ate during the Middle Passage. They were so valuable, in fact, there was actually a formula that prescribed the appropriate number of yams a ship needed based on the number of enslaved people. A ship that held 500 enslaved people, for example, had to provide at least 100,000 yams.
Black-eyes peas are enjoyed all over the world. They’re a good source of protein and fiber, and they also keep weeds from growing wherever they’re planted. And like our people, they can also survive some of the harshest conditions.
These foods are evidence of our connection to our ancestors. They have sustained us and are an integral part of our experiences. Regardless of what anyone says, our connection to Africa can never be broken.