tv Book TV CSPAN September 18, 2011 2:00pm-2:25pm EDT
>> by the records and by my impression, understanding of her was a more gentle and vulnerable person who joined into victoria price's story, but it was much more ambivalent about it. it was, in fact, ruby bates' we can't think of the charges act of 1933 decatur trial which led to judge horton basically saying that we mustn't bring this circus to an end. >> where the prostitutes? >> they were prostitutes is a loaded term, particularly in the
context of the socioeconomic circumstances that they live in and the socioeconomic circumstances that they inhabited. they were known in their communities for exchanging sexual favors. sometimes for money, sometimes for pleasure. but they were also factory workers. and as factory workers they're also looking for work. one of the note about ruby bates. after ruby bates recanted, she was immediately embraced by the ild and the communist party and went on to her. speaking tour on behalf of gaining freedom for the scottsboro boys. >> the importance of the racial issue in 1931 when this happened? >> absolutely central. absolutely inflammatory if you go back and look at some of the newspaper reports in early alabama newspapers, montgomery, look at the headlines. every single stereotype thing
that you can imagine about black men, white women, and the presumption of sexually predatory behavior, presumption of rape. and blatant in the headlines. >> how widespread was the coverage of this trial? >> it was very, very widespread for so for reasons. not only wasn't widely covered in south and in alabama, but also it turns out that as part of the own program, part of their own work, a chinese party was actively at work in the area of alabama where this occurred. they covered the case immediately. day said dispatchers. they also said these factors to their own propaganda and communications networks. so this became both a local, regionally known, nationally known an internationally known case. very, very quickly.
>> haywood patterson, wrote a book. >> haywood patterson wrote a book. he wrote a book after he escaped from growth in the 1940s. and haywood patterson was in many respects the member of the scottsboro boys who attracted a great deal of public antagonism because of his attitude, because of his defiance, because of his refusal to submit himself to the kind of stereotypical roles that young black men were assumed that they should adapt. he was defined and he became for some, particularly those on the left, meaning anytime this party, a symbol of revolutionary to fines and potential for young black people and black people in general to break the chains off of racial oppression. >> was the painting or drawing on the cover of your book,
"remembering scottsboro"? >> the painting was drawn by a young, white d.c. artist who is a good friend of the well-known poet, langston hughes. his name was printed state or. langston hughes as a whole it was probably one of the afghan american writers who was deeply engaged and the publicity campaigns around the famous scottsboro boys. he wrote a famous in the 1930s book called the scottsboro limited. print is tailored to the inspirations -- illustration. and this image is an image that comes from that particular collection. so that's a wonderful image. his executor happen to live in georgetown, d.c., and his executive at the time gave us
permission to reprint this. >> james miller is the chairman of the american studies department here at george washington university. in your subtitle to use the word legacy of the trial. what is the legacy? >> i was concerned as a student of literature culture with the ways in which scottsboro worked its way into the cabinet of american race relations. the way in which language circulates in the ways in which language continues to carry meaning and resonance, long after the events that traded off of occurred. so the legacy for me is not just to leave a legacy and not just the political legacy. it's the ways in which language and forms behavior even when we are not aware of the history that is embedded in that language. >> have you written other books? >> i am working on a book now
which has to do with the relationship between african-american and south african jazz in the liberation, during the peak period between 1959-1976. it's probably connected to scottsboro, it works out, the relationship between social, political and cultural. >> james miller, chairman of the american studies department at george washington university. professor of english and author of "remembering scottsboro," published by princeton university press. thank you. >> visit booktv.org to watch any of the programs you see here online. type the author or book title in the search bar in upper left side of the page and click search or you can share anything you see on booktv.org easily by clicking share on the upper left side of the page and
selecting format. booktv streams live online for 48 hours every weekend with the top nonfiction books and authors. booktv.org. >> george washington professor marcy norton. where did snickers bars and marlboro come from? >> well, we have to go way back in time, tobacco and chocolate are both native to the americas, and were developed by indians. tobacco in the distant past, several thousand years b.c., the central entry to chocolate, likewise, maybe around 3000 b.c.e. so they were central to the native americans, and when europeans, europeans had no knowledge of that until they arrived starting with columbus
in 1492. and went from there. >> how are they used? >> so, tobacco was used in a whole multitude of ways. smoked, cigars, pipes, sort of cigarette like substances. also used topically as medicines. snuff through the nose. in the most. a whole host of applications. sort of bearing depending on the region. chocolate a more restrictive domain but what's important to remember is that it was a brad fritsch come almost exclusively not just in the americas but in europe until the 18th or 19th century. so it was a steam the beverages in some ways the way that we think of coffee today. and i could go on about it. >> please do. >> so chocolate have a more restrictive domain in the americas than tobacco. it was used by groups we know today as aztecs and other groups in the broader region.
many different concoctions, but one of the favorite ones had the cow, essential ingredient mixed with water and a whole host of spices. chili peppers i gave it a kind of spicy bite, the redness is really actually very central to the experience because it reminded people of blood. and then floral flavorings such as vanilla, and two other common ones we don't use anymore that were restricted to the americas for the most part, but that gave the kind of a cinnamon, clove experience. in consuming chocolate, for instance, it was really a whole censorious experience. so wasn't just about the taste but is also about the texture. there was a foam on top. that was important as they
consumed it. special drinking vessels made out of ceramics or courts that were lacquered. so important that these vessels were part of the treaty that the aztec ruler, montezuma, had. so that was sort of the fiscal composition, but it was also incredibly important culturally. so, chocolate was seen as one of the perks of the elite. it was kind of a conspicuous consumption to consume find chocolate. it was really important. you couldn't have a meeting of diplomats or traders without chocolate. and it is often used in a very ceremonial ritual before any kind of feasting would begin among aztec cultures. they would be ceremonial use of chocolate and tobacco together. and the flower. answered in this very
choreographed manner. and one of the arguments of my book is that when europeans arrived, they actually adopted the customs, i mean there were some differences but there was essential continuity like mesoamerican, europeans began to associate them as quintessential symbols of sociability, and also a status in the case of chocolate. tobacco had sort of more different uses among different social levels. and even, for instance, today we have valentines day association with chocolate as being kind of erotic. and that was something that europeans learned from mesoamerican's as well. >> so, marcy norton come in 1492 columbus comes, discovers the americas. does he bring back cacao and tobacco on that first voyage?
>> well, certainly not cacao or chocolate because the area he arrived in the caribbean, chocolate was a use. he actually did run across cacao on his fourth voyage in 1504 when he was off the coast of honduras. there's not evidence he actually saw chocolate itself but he saw the cacao beans and he noted how valued the work to the traders, that it was described as if they were like eyeballs. but tobacco, he came across almost immediately because it was central in the caribbean. and, in fact, it was even offered, tobacco leaf as a gift which would've been sort of the traditional diplomatic, a gesture among the groups. he sent out men to go investigate, what is today haiti and the dominican republic. they describe people smoking it.
that's the first record of europeans seeing it. there's not evidence that he himself tried tobacco. but pretty soon afterwards, if not, and it's not unlikely that some of his men, and the reason why it's not unlikely is because it was so central to sociability that when the explorers were going out, and sometimes we have this image of your teams just coming and sort of invading, which it's not totally untrue but they were actually dependent on native groups for information, for food, for diplomatic and military alliances. and so as with any arriving person or envoy who wants to get something from another group you kind of have to make yourself conform to what their customs are when you're in a vulnerable position, as they were. and so, when in rome do as the romans do. win in the caribbean do as the caribbean stew. and that involves accepting
tobacco and when europeans involved, right, the same thing was chocolate. chocolate part of the sociability rituals of these groups. but there's kind of the split reaction. i'm making it sound like they were immediately very welcoming to that and that wasn't the case. on the one hand, they sort of were exposed to it and sort of consumed in situations, but they also were very suspicious of it as well. tobacco, smoking a something for them a sort of reminiscent of things they thought about as witchcraft. and they also clued on pretty soon the tobacco and chocolate were not only important, but were also part of native religion. and part of the mission of these europeans was to bring their religion to a. and so it was very disconcerting to look at the substances, they described it as kind of idolatry
and daemonic diablo some and so forth. so you have this kind of almost schizophrenic reaction on the one hand on the frontier they are using it. on the other hand, the early chroniclers are describing tobacco particularly as emblematic of the idolatry of the native americans. and this creates kind of a problem for europeans several decades down the line, are more like a sentry down the line, when tobacco starts being used in europe and they became curious about its origins. they have this kind of print record of describing tobacco as kind of the ultimate idolatry and kind of barbarian behavior. and so they are faced with reconciling their own new habits with the way that they described it earlier on. >> well, when did tobacco catch on in europe? >> there's actually a significant time lag. part of the research that i did
for this project, which would have been done before with the kind of systematically look in trade records and see when you start seeing them in a systematic way. so we have evidence that there's kind of erratic and idiosyncratic imports of both of the goods throughout the 16th century, throughout the 1500s. in a come as you would expect that some europeans start to get habituated to it and the americans, they need their stash when they go back, particularly salyers or associate with tobacco early on and a few returning conquistadors. but you don't see them at all in a trade records the 15 '90s. and that's when you have sort of a critical mass of consumers, we would say contemporary language maybe first adopters. and i identified sort of three vanguard groups as these kind of early users. you wouldn't be surprised by colonial sort of officials, elite aristocrats returning
merchants who were involved. and then a third group which might be surprising for our contemporary sensibilities are actually clergy, who are a significant group of kind of would go back and forth. so clergy i found intriguing records, just what it's saying okay, from his chest with brother, okay come with chocolate coming and coming we need some to go to the house and others to go on to our comrades in rome as well. so those are kind of the three vanguard groups. >> meaning tobacco? >> and chocolate. sorted together. and once they had a foothold in places like seville which was the entrepôt for all this new world, not just goods but a pipe that was comfortable on both sides of the atlantic. from there it spreads out into the court centers, going to madrid and other kind of elite cosmopolitan centers in the case of chocolate.
and one of the differences between chocolate and tobacco is chocolate start sort as a very much and of the phenomena and ventricles and other groups. tobacco kind of interest both on the elite bubble and also on a more popular level because of its use among sailors who were integrated in these more sort of popular areas as well. >> why did you write about chocolate? and tobacco. >> for a number of reasons. one is that it's just on the face of it it seemed to defy our kind of conventional image of the consequences of 1492. you know, we have this sort of giant and still image which is not incorrect, of this meeting of two hemispheres and it being almost a sort of unilateral set of consequences for the americas. and yet here are these two goods that were going in the other
direction. and so i was interested in sort of exploring this other, this sort of eastward story as well as the westward story. another reason is i am really interested in the meeting intersection between culture and nature. and here are two goods that are from nature, that have strong effects on the nervous system and on the body. and yet they are mediated through culture. and so i was interested in the interplay of that as well come in the way that you have cultural rituals but they are also kind of, then we can this biological experience as well. and when i started research way back in the '90s on this project, people were talking, it was right when antidepressants are coming out in hollywood and people, kind of a psychotropic revolution. and i thought wouldn't it be interesting to look at another psychotropic resolution -- revolution in history.
this one in europe that have had no experience. and then what happened once it got there. i want to tell people that chocolate was the first stimulant beverage. it preceded coffee or tea in europe, and so i found that real interesting to think about. >> would they ever used as political tools, or was there such a demand for these two products at some point in europe that there were political consequences? >> absolutely. chocolate among european elite, just as it had been among native and mesoamerican elite, becomes a diplomatic tool. it becomes very similar that if you're meeting someone, also a good way to bribe an official as well, you know, among kind of foreign dignitaries if you'd come, you didn't chocolate and so forth. another way in which they were politically important was that they become very important sources of state revenue. by the late 17th century,
tobacco, that taxes on tobacco become the single greatest source of revenue for the spanish state. more important at that point then returned from gold and silver. so the tradition of taxing tobacco to bring in state revenue has a very ancient history. and, in fact, tobacco, and chocolate entry but not in practice, become state monopolies in spain in the 1630s. and chocolate does really go anywhere, but with tobacco the state becomes the exclusive purveyor of tobacco in the kingdom of castille started in 1632. the state officials themselves don't handle the. in modern language they outsource it. they basically have contracts for the tobacco monopoly that get leased out. in fact, the people who have this tobacco monopoly throughout the 17th century have run-ins with the inquisition the whole time. most than being incarcerated
because they are seen as being secret jews which become kind of a subplot industry. so inquisition records were actually a rich source for this project as well. >> how widespread, what was the cost of both tobacco and chocolate as the decades when on? >> so, one of the things that happens with tobacco is that it becomes really segmented market. and so you can buy really expensive tobacco. by the mid, late 17th century the most desirable way for elites to consume tobacco was a snuff. people were also chewing it and smoking it as well. but because it's a monopoly, as you might predict, that is quite above the market rate. it also creates a situation for contraband. and so there's a lot of black
market, tobacco as well. so you could buy really inexpensive tobacco, and for that reason, one of the things that commentators would say that tobacco is how egalitarian it was. issues by rich, poor, urban, rural, men or women. it is gender-neutral. in the case of chocolate, it's much more expensive. and most of the 17th century it's restricted to those who were nobility rich traders, that kind of professionals and so forth. but by the early 17th century, i the early 18th century, even by the end of the 17th century use the evidence that it's something that is accessible for other elements of the population. because it's being sold actually on the street corners, sort of like kisk
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