Thursday, February 6, 2014

Coconuts In Black History And Beyond

Coconuts were part of the standard food provisions aboard slave ships for both the captives AND crew.

Brazil Stamp print of a coconut vendor


With this perspective, coconuts are as much a part of the economic history of the New World as cotton and sugar cane.
In the 1800s, coconuts were  very profitable for atleast one African-American.

 Mr. Ashbourne's Patents for Coconut Oil

We enjoy using coconut oil with a long shelf life because of Alexander P. Ashbourne. Ashbourne was the first American to realize the economic potential of coconut after the US Civil War.

This African-American was awarded 3 patents for coconut oil production and refining - Patents 163,962 in 1875, 194,287 in 1877 and 230,518 in 1880. 

Here's a link to the 1875  US Patent Office Gazette for Mr. Ashbourne's invention.

Ashbourne was a successful grocer in Philadelphia and Oakland, CA.  Clearly he was a great thinker and tinker: He was awarded numerous patents for a wide range of inventions.

West Indies couple and coconut palm

I feel that coconut products can fuel  renewed economic success for the descendants of slaves and everyone else that made it to the Americas and survived and thrived.

One African-American, Alexander P. Ashbourne, has already proved this.

Slave convoy in the shade of a palm tree


The Future Economic Potential for Coconut

New profitable markets for Coconut oil, coconut water and copra commodities are emerging RIGHT NOW in the world's temperate zones-the northern hemispheres. 

 Medical and cosmetic use of Coconut by-products like Dicaprylyl Ether and Caprylic/CapricTriglyceride  are the frontier of a new economy...  partially replacing the use of  black gold.


The old Black History may have been nurtured and sustained by coconuts in the dank, dark holds of a slave ships.  But  the future starts now with the coconut palm's solid economic foundation of renewable resources.

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