In the Shadow of Slavery’ explores the wealth of plantlife brought to the Americas by slaves & slave ships as provisions, medicines, cordage & bedding, & afterwards cultivated in garden plots. These included coffee, watermelon & okra, as well as the constituents of many well known products.
Contents: Food and the African past -- African plants on the move -- African food crops and the Guinea trade -- African food and the Atlantic crossing -- Maroon subsistence strategies -- The Africanization of plantation food systems -- Botanical gardens of the dispossessed -- Guinea’s plants and European empire -- African animals and grasses in the New World tropics -- Memory dishes of Africa’s botanical legacy.
In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.
Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home