Bouki Fait Gombo:  A History of the Slave Population of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860

by Ibrahima Seck

215 pages • $18.95 • ISBN: 9781608010950 • December 2014 • Add to Cart

An exploration of slavery and its impact on southern culture, Bouki Fait Gombo is the first book to map the history of Habitation Haydel. Now known as the Whitney Plantation, the Haydel began operating in 1752 as an indigo producer and went on to become one of the most important sugar plantations in Louisiana. This in-depth study traces the route of African slaves to the German Coast of Louisiana, charts the various owners of the Haydel, and discusses the daily life of slaves on the plantation. Although the book does not shy away from depicting the brutalities of slavery, at its heart are the stories of the robust culinary and musical cultures that grew out of slaves’ desires to reconnect with their home. As Ibrahima Seck says in the book’s introduction, “The history of slavery should not only be the history of deportation and hard labor in the plantations. Beyond these painful memories, we should always dig deep enough to find out how Africans contributed tremendously to the making of Southern Culture and American identity.” The release of this book will coincide with the opening of the Whitney Plantation Museum (

“As a trial lawyer, John Cummings understood that with much careful research and thought, the Whitney Plantation will engage the wider public in knowledge of slavery and the system of slavery in Louisiana…He has been wise enough to tap into Dr. Ibrahima Seck’s knowledge of the subject. He could not find a better expert.”

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, author of Africans in Colonia Louisiana

"This 'micro-history' shows how closely connected specific African and American histories were in the era of the slave-trade and slavery -- in this case, of Senegambia and Louisiana -- and that these historical connections continued to influence regional cultures across several generations. Professor Seck's study will be of interest to a wide range of scholars interested in Louisiana history, as well as the African Diaspora generally."

Douglas B. Chambers, author of The Igbo Diaspora in the Era of the Slave Trade 

Ibrahima Seck is a member of the History department of Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), Senegal. His research is mostly devoted to Louisiana. In 1999, he defended a doctoral dissertation entitled, “African Cultures and Slavery in Lower Mississippi Valley from Iberville to Jim Crow.” He is also the academic director of the Whitney Heritage Plantation Corporation.


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