Big Sugar: Sweet, White and Deadly

On Wednesday 27th April 2011, Black History Studies screened the documentary ‘Big Sugar: Sweet, White and Deadly.

Big Sugar: Sweet, White And Deadly’ explores the evil history and modern power of the world’s reigning sugar cartels. Using dramatic re-enactments it reveals how sugar was at the heart of enslavement in the West Indies in the 18th century, while showing how present-day consumers are slaves to a sugar-based diet. Going undercover, Big Sugar witnesses the appalling working conditions on plantations in the Dominican Republic, where Haitian cane cutters live like slaves. Workers who live on Central Romano, a Fanjul-owned plantation, go hungry while working 12-hour days to earn $2 (US).

This documentary is a powerful teaching tool as it gave delegates the history of the enslavement of Africans to fuel the demand for sugar. It also exposed the fact the slavery has not ended and African in the Dominican Republic are struggling to survive in the harsh conditions on modern plantations. The discussion after the screening was interesting in the fact that people were not aware of how sugar is added to most food items including cigarettes!

Some of the feedback given after the screening is summarised below:

“Very eye opening documentary. I was completely naive about how the sugar plantation workers were treated, like slaves of the 18th / 19th century.”

“Very informative, shocking and sobering”

“I had no idea ‘slavery’ in sugar goes on in the 21st century. To know that the ‘master’ is profiting from people labouring in countries such as the Dominican Republic is distressing. This documentary highlighted how sugar is making the rich richer and the poor poorer.”

“Thank you Black History Studies for showing this documentary. More please!”

“I thought that this documentary was very informative. It has now made me really want to reduce my sugar intake, not only for health reasons but for political reasons.”

“Extremely upsetting and disturbing. Yet we shouldn’t be shocked that this is still going on today when these poor black people have no one to speak up for them- certainly not anyone over here as most of us did not know about it. What should we do now that we know?”

“I feel very frustrated and angry by what I have just seen and learnt. Once again, it is the time for us to unite and get off our behinds and take pro-active steps in doing something  to stop the atrocities!”

For future details of film screenings, please go to the Black History Studies website.

Background information and scandals about the Fanjul Brothers

All the facts about Dominican sugar operations!!! Stop Sugar Purchases from the Dominican Republic

Watch video narrated by Paul Newman about the horrible slavery conditions in Dominican sugar plantations


About blackhistorystudies

Black History Studies is a social enterprise company which operates in the interest of the community by offering courses and events in Adult Education. We aim to empower the African and Caribbean community and enable them to develop self knowledge and identity through Black History and Culture. Black History Studies aim to provide a wide range of courses and activities which will provide people with the opportunity to pursue their interest in Black History and Black Studies. We also aim to provide high quality courses and activities that can be accessed by all within the community. Our mission is to inform, inspire and empower people through Black History and Black Studies by educating the community to educate themselves thereby creating a self-sustaining learning circle. Black History Studies is dedicated to providing you with a high quality and professional service and can offer services such as: - Bespoke services for Secondary Schools - Black History and Black Studies Presentations - Black History Course for Families - 5 week short courses on Black History - Beginners and Advanced Black Studies Courses - Weekend courses on Black History and Black Studies - Museum Tours - Film Screenings - Black History Studies Presentations for hire
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