Demand for peanut oil fueled slavery in West Africa into the 20th century, Jori Lewis (Senegal, 2011-13) writes in her history Slaves for Peanuts: A Story of Conquest, Liberation, and a Crop That Changed History (The New Press, April 2022).

“Americans consume over 1.5 billion pounds of peanut products every year,” the publisher’s description reads. “But few of us know the peanut’s tumultuous history, or its intimate connection to slavery and freedom.”


More on Slaves for Peanuts here.

Top photo: Loading of peanuts in Senegal, circa 1910 (Unknown photographer, Wikimedia Commons)