Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Slaves Hid Charms in Colonial Greenhouse

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Race & Ethnicity » African-American Issues Group Donate to DU
 
Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Feb-15-11 09:24 AM
Original message
Slaves Hid Charms in Colonial Greenhouse
In his eloquent autobiographies, abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass described the cruelty he experienced as an African-American slave in Maryland during the early 19th century. But Douglass' descriptions may have been missing some important details about the richness of slave culture at the time.

In a greenhouse on a centuries-old estate where Douglass lived as a young boy, archaeologists have dug up a variety of both mundane objects and strategically placed symbols of spirituality. These artifacts show for the first time that slaves lived in the greenhouse and that they sustained African religious traditions, even as they probably outwardly practiced Christianity.

By analyzing grains of fossilized pollen from the site, researchers were also able to show that the slaves used a corner of the greenhouse to experiment with plants for food, medicinal and household purposes -- beginning what would become an African-American gardening tradition.

Together, the wealth of new discoveries paints the broadest picture yet of the people who slaved away on a well-known plantation for centuries.

"African-American religion in the form of African traditions gave this building a second identity, one that was not described or not known by Douglass," said Mark Leone, an archaeologist at the University of Maryland, College Park.

"This is African-American culture here, both in terms of religion and agriculture, that has traditions that are still alive today," he said. "There was a whole set of concepts, ideas and practices that kept the community whole. That isn't something that could be destroyed through brutality."

http://news.discovery.com/history/slave-african-america...
Refresh | 0 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top

Home » Discuss » DU Groups » Race & Ethnicity » African-American Issues Group Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC