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Alice Ross and Mark H. Zanger

The Caribbean influence on American food has been continual for hundreds of years, initially in coastal areas of similar climate, from Texas to the Carolinas. The early Spanish involvement in the Caribbean brought Caribbean foods to Europe and Africa, from whence they quickly returned to North America. Spanish gold shipments attracted other Europeans to the area and brought about the colonization of eastern North America. Cheap Caribbean sugar, coffee, cocoa, and spices have influenced the palates and tables of all Americans. The peoples of the Caribbean islands have developed multicultural cuisines that have been affecting American cooking at all levels since colonial times.

Influence of the Caribbean on contemporary American food may predate Columbus, because there is some possibility that Caribbean Indians reached Florida and introduced tropical tubers, or chilies. The chain of influence began in 1492 as the varieties of maize beans chilies squash peanuts and cassava collected ...


Mason I. Lowance

Slave narratives written by women occupy a special place in the long history of antebellum slave narration because female slaves suffered additional burdens based on gender. As the emancipated slave Harriet Jacobs noted, those qualities of beauty and femininity long honored in all cultures became a special curse for the female slave, because these attributes often led to sexual abuse by slave owners and overseers and male slaves. In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), this problem is examined in several episodes in which a vulnerable female slave is forced into sexual relationships with men. These incidents, related by Cassy in Chapter XXXIV, “The Quadroon’s Story,” can be considered a slave narrative in microcosm, one that exhibits the essential characteristics of the slave narrative genre. And in Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of an American Slave (1845 a young and attractive female ...


John Martin Taylor

The South is often defined as the eleven states that lie south of the Potomac River, or those of the Confederacy (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, and Tennessee), but many inhabitants of Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, West Virginia, and Oklahoma consider themselves southerners because of shared history and culture if not geography. Though not separated from the rest of the country by dramatic natural borders, the South has, from its beginnings, been a separate region that is divided into several geographical areas with distinct histories. As the population of the South increases at twice the national rate, mostly from interstate immigration, the region no longer resembles the mid-twentieth-century South with its shared bond of the Confederacy.

The distinctive regions within the South include the Tidewater of Virginia and North Carolina the low country Atlantic coastal plain of South Carolina Georgia and northeastern Florida the ...