Mission Ruins of Venn’s Town: the remains of a 19th-century school perched atop a mountain surrounded by a thick tropical forest in Seychelles.

We are deep in the Morne Seychellois National Park where, perched on a mountaintop, lies the ruins of a mission named after Henry Venn (1796 – 1873) an Anglican missionary who in 1799 together with William Wilberforce (1759 – 1833), the English abolitionist, co-founded the Church Missionary Society to spread Christianity to the natives of Africa and Asia, as well as creating orphan asylums for children of slaves. Getting there is easy, it’s about 6 km drive from the city centre of Victoria, capital of Seychelles. A sign points at…

Read More

Benne Wafers: a crispy cookie from South Carolina, first introduced during the slave trade.

Benne Wafer (Sesame Seed Cookies) have been a South Carolina’s favorite for over a hundred years. They are light, crisp, and paper thin with a delightful nutty taste that is not too sweet. Historically, enslaved people from Africa introduced new ingredients to the American South, shaping cuisine in areas such as Low Country (the coastal area around Charleston, South Carolina) of the South. The popular sweet snack known as benne wafers are an enduring result of their culinary influence on this coastal region. It is believed that West African slaves…

Read More

Chitlins: why you should try this traditional “soul food”

At first, let us consider what chitlins are: hog intestines or guts. Some people turn up their noses only at their mention, while other leave the house while they are cooking, disgusted by their odor, and this is why traditionally they were cooked outdoors at backyard hog killings in winter. However, the volume sold for New Year’s dinners, with Christmas and Thanksgiving not far behind, attests to chitlins (or, more formally, chitterlings) popularity in the United States! In any case, animal innards have long been treasured foods around the world.…

Read More

African Cemetery at Higgs Beach – Florida

Among modern Key West’s greatest characteristics is its inclusiveness. During the Civil War, Key West remained in the United States despite Florida having joined the secession, and African Americans on the island lived as free men long before it became the law of the land. In 1860, off the coast of Key West, where the U.S. Navy intercepted three ships holding 1,432 African men, women, and children bound for Cuba. So, the American ships, which were engaged in the illegal transatlantic slave trade, were forced to relinquish their human cargo.…

Read More