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The Gullah: Rice, Slavery, and the Sierra Leone-American Connection

“The #Gullah are directly descended from the slaves who labored on the rice plantations, and their language reflects significant influences from #SierraLeone and the surrounding area.”…
They speak a creole language similar to Sierra Leone Krio, use African names, tell African folktales, make African-style handicrafts such as baskets and carved walking sticks, and enjoy a rich cuisine based primarily on rice.
The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans who came from different ethnic and social groups.

They were enslaved together on the isolated sea and barrier islands that span what is now designated as the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.
Read 30 tweets
So, that long-promised lowdown on rice and slavery. There's a couple of things to understand from the off: "jollof wars" might be playful but they indicate a long West African history with rice.
That history also means that industrial head hunting actually began during the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Rice has been cultivated in West Africa for centuries although the variety native to the region was not considered to have high yields.
Soon, the WA strains were largely replaced with Asian oryza sativa strains and is now mainly cultivated in Nigeria, Mali, Sierra Leone and along the Ghana-Togo border. Locals continue to cultivate it because they consider the native rice more filling and sweeter... (call break..)
Read 18 tweets
Our new working paper "Skills vs voice" is out with Casey @tedmiguel & Voors.

We examine how well communities are able to harness the huge investments in human capital seen across much of Africa in last 20 yrs, using 2 RCTs in #SierraLeone.
Traditional chiefs & elders who have substantial power in #SierraLeone & elsewhere are unaccountable & unrepresentative. They are also old & much so less educated than others in community.

When faced with real life challenge, can they harness that skill for community's benefit?
We find that when offered chance to win dev funds by writing grant proposal they fail to utilize the community's writing and budgeting skills.

In contrast, a simple test that reveals who has these skills and strong nudge to select them as manager produces better proposals.
Read 9 tweets

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