9 African Contributions That Significantly Shaped American Culture You May Not Know About

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Photograph: Konrad Wothe/Minden Pictures Domestic Horse/Konrad Wothe / Minden Pictures
Photograph: Konrad Wothe/Minden Pictures Domestic Horse/Konrad Wothe / Minden Pictures

 

American” Cowboy Culture

Historically, North Africans have been notoriously known for cattle raising. This skill was brought with the Fula, of the Fulani, of Senegambia. They were enslaved and brought to South Carolina in the early1700s. In fact, longhorn cattle were imported as well. According to Dr. Joseph E. Holloway, a scholar of the Black Diaspora, these North Africans were “expert cattlemen” and “responsible for introducing African husbandry patterns of open grazing now practiced throughout the American cattle industry.” He also confirms that, “originally, a cowboy was an African who worked with cattle.

Rice CultivationRice Cultivation

Rice cultivation is often associated with the enslaved Africans who worked swamps and marshlands of the East Coast. However, these individuals, as well as their craft, had an African past. Africans contributed to most of America’s agricultural practices and techniques. According to Holloway, “Rice from Madagascar was introduced to South Carolina’s farming economy” in the 1740s. In addition, “Africans, experts in rice cultivation, were transported from the island of Gorée, off the coast of what is now the Senegambia, to train Europeans to cultivate this new crop.

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