About the Department

Edda Fields-Black

June 18, 2015

By: Phoebe Ng

“I’ve been changed by finding these unmarked and open graves of my ancestors on the rice plantations and I really wanted to tell a big story. I didn’t want to just write for my colleagues and specialists in my field. I wanted this history to get out of the academy and to really change people.

I wanted to get it to general readers, to the people who are really interested in the Gullah/Geechee and who are really interested in connections between Africans and African Americans…They like rice down there [low country] - It’s amazing! I wanted to talk to them, to inform them, and some of them will read my Gullah/Geechee book- which has a whole lot of rice in it- but a lot of them never will, you know? So how do I get this story to those large numbers of people who never will? As Jonathan [Green] would say, we’re going to sing it, we’re going to dance it, we’re going to have a symphony play it, there will be talking drums, and we’re going to put on a show!”

#FacultyFriday: Congratulations to Professor Edda Fields-Black, who was recently awarded with grants from The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Foundation for her Center for the Arts in Society project “The Requiem for Rice.” It will debut and headline at the Colour of Music Black Classical Musicians Festival in South Carolina in October 2017.” Read more about her.