A Salute to the Man on The Box

January 20th, 2011

My friend and I were headed down south looking to play some off-season golf. Our destination: South Carolina. We drove through the night, hoping to get an early start and by the time we reached the little town of Newberry we were greeted by an unfriendly rainstorm. We ducked into a diner for a greasy breakfast and asked the waitress what else besides golf South Carolina had to offer. “Do you like rice?” She said. My friend and I nodded our heads in confusion. “Then you oughta check out the Uncle Ben’s rice museum at the center of town”.

The museum was six floors, containing pictures of Uncle Ben, paintings of the man and his empire, models of his farm and farmhouse, documents signed by Uncle Ben himself. It seemed impossible to see it all in one visit. Sought out by the entrepreneur Forrest Mars for his unrivalled crops, Uncle Ben became the spokesperson for the Mars Company product in 1943. In the twentieth century, black people were often associated with agricultural products, hence Uncle Ben’s now famous quote: “white men can’t cook white rice”.

Uncle Ben was in fact the man who started the tradition of throwing rice at weddings. Although today it is an act of celebration, it started out as an act of malice and hatred. It was his daughters wedding and he did not approve of the groom or the ceremony. The couple rushed to their car while Ben raced towards them chucking his rice pellets and yelling ”The man’s a fool, Loretta. The man’s a damn fool!”"

Do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful museum full of fun facts!

Here is a picture of Uncle Ben at twelve years old, titled Uncle Ben.

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2 Comments

Mike Gagnon
Jan 22, 2011
I always thought that Uncle Ben was Perter Parker's uncle and surrogate father and was a white man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncle_Ben
 
Justin
Jan 21, 2011
I like when I click to comment on this post, I get to see an even larger version of Uncle Ben. Way to go Mr. Wizard!