Finding my ancestors’ unmarked, open graves on a South Carolina rice plantation formerly owned by the planter family I was researching, I, an historian, had to find a new way of storytelling. "Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice" is an unusual collaboration between an historian and a composer to create a contemporary classical symphonic work, a grand dramatic tribute to the survivors of slavery, the darkest chapter in America’s history. Our story highlights the West African skill and ingenuity that laid the foundation for the commercial rice industry. By adapting the "requiem" genre to mourn our enslaved ancestors, "Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked: Requiem for Rice" continues the rich history of people of African descent in classical music and re-imagines the American past.
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