BLOGROLL: Hopkinson on Sugar, Caribbean Slavery and Kara Walker’s Subtlety

In an excerpt from her new book, Natalie Hopkinson explores histories of gendered violence in Caribbean and Atlantic wide histories of slavery, sugar through Kara Walker’s Subtlety:

“We have come to expect bizarre reactions from sugar. It is sensory and symbolic overload. Refined sugar was first marketed as a drug. Processed and presented as a gift, it expresses love and promises carnal pleasure. The history and ongoing agony caused by sugar are mostly hidden from public view. Its sexual brutality is shrouded by amnesia and silence. Much like the twenty-first-century costs paid for smartphones, cheap clothes, and disposable trinkets, it’s out of sight, out of mind. For those of us with roots in the Caribbean, our destinies were shaped by the demands of sugar and plantation life, and the historic moment in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries when they became engines for Western empires. Our domestic lives are still being shaped by the culture of domination that took root in those fields….”

Read the rest:

Join the Discussion

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s