Sugar, let’s talk about its bittersweet truths. Sugar is the substance that gives our taste buds a pleasurable satiated feeling when we eat it. However, when consumed too much it can inflict tooth decay, obesity, and diabetes disease upon the body for many. This very valuable staple in our lives has been around for centuries and has been an important product in every continent. We not only use sugar for consumption in our foods but we use it as an exfoliant in skincare, like that used in our organic sugar scrubs workshops. It’s fine coarse texture and its sweet, enjoyable taste leaves a lot to be said about how it ends up on our tables and in jars of beauty products. Yet still, Sugar, the love for it and its painful consequences are everlasting. In this month of February, I write this submission to shed light on the relevance of the true history of sugar and the commemoration of Black History month, so let's go b(l)ack.
The truth about the production of sugar ain’t a pretty story much unlike a happy candy scene from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Sadly, it is extremely the opposite. The fact is, sugar was produced from the hard labor off of the bloodied backs of African slaves beginning in the mid 1600’s. The work was brutal and the pay was either death or brutality for African men and women who were stolen from their homelands and forced to toil in the Caribbean, West Indies, sugar cane fields where sugarcane agriculture was king. It is there that the brutality of men and women slaves and their bloodshed and deaths earned the term “blood sugar” so synonymously.
Like diamonds and gold, sugar was the precious commodity on most New World kitchens and banquet tables, most popularized by sweet little sculpture delicacies called subtleties which were often served in Britain’s royal feasts. Which brings to mind a perfectly sweet example of art imitating life and vice versa— in the 2014 art exhibition “A Subtlety or The Marvelous Sugar Baby” by Kara Walker. This spectacular display and its perfectly-put metaphorical impact that sugar left on the world is everything your consciousness needs to understand the history of cultures and how it relates to you. Instead of me writing about the marvelousness of this fantastic display, why not just hit the link and watch the video! https://vimeo.com/119942374
How do you take your sugar?...One hump or two?...