Posted by Marissa Filipello, CNF Editor for Issue 9.2
Do you like sugar in your coffee? In your tea? Have you ever thought about where that sugar originated? Today at Domino Sugar’s Chalmette Refinery, sugar is made at a rate of 120 bags a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But originally this work was done by enslaved Africans working under horrendous conditions. Sugar cane was a heavy crop, that had to be pulled by hand, then immediately ground before spoiling in a day or two. It was sharp to touch and would leave small cuts in enslaved Africans hands when accompanied with perspiration. Sugar became known as ‘White gold,’ as it fueled the wealth of the European and British nations. Yet, it’s rarely acknowledged that the excessive sugar today came at the expense or exploitation of enslaved Africans. This is just one fact of many found in the 1619 Project.