OPPRESSION! thou, whose hard and cruel chain,
Entails on all thy victims woe and pain;
Who gives with tyrant force and scorpion whip,
The cup of mis’ry to a Negro’s lip;
Marks with stern frown thy wide, unhallow’d reign,
And broods with gloomy wing o’er Afric’s injur’d plain!
First stanza of A Poem On The African Slave Trade, 1791, by Dublin based Quaker, Mary Birkett. The poem is addressed specifically to female consumers of sugar.
In this first post on anti-saccharite cultures I want to briefly point toward some of the wider political issues at stake during the time of the sugar boycott.