“Locating indigo production in both a global economy and the history of enslavement in colonial South Carolina, this book gives us the first tangible explanation of why indigo was such an important crop. Feeser explains just what ‘blue’ meant in the eighteenth-century Atlantic world and does it so well that indigo production makes sense in a way it never has before.”—Mart A. Stewart, author of “What Nature Suffers to Groe”: Life, Labor, and Landscape on the Georgia Coast, 1680–1920
“The official state color of South Carolina is indigo. Why? Read Dr. Feeser’s book. To understand the rich complexities of modern South Carolina, one needs to recognize the multidimensional past illustrated by South Carolina’s indigo culture. The history is there along with the material culture, and entwining connections give life and voice to known and unknown characters within a compelling narrative.”—Randy L. Akers, executive director, The Humanities Council S.C.
"[T]he microhistories presented are compelling and effective in demonstrating that people of all races were transformed by the growing of indigo. Recommended for readers interested in South Carolina history and for specialists in material culture."—Nicholas Graham, Library Journal
“Feeser (Clemson Univ.) has written a slim volume explaining how Native Americans, enslaved Africans, and white planters were all involved in the production of [indigo], which required hard work but reaped huge profits--hence the book’s title, Red, White and Black Make Blue. . . . In little more than 100 pages followed by copious notes, the author has written a fascinating history of a very profitable product that has also developed a strange mystique of its own along the way.” —S. A. Syme, Choice
About the Author
Andrea Feeser is an associate professor of art and architectural history at Clemson University. She is the author of Waikiki: A History of Forgetting & Remembering.