In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World, by Judith A. Carney and Richard Nicholas Rosomoff, is a finalist for the Twelfth Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, one of the most coveted awards for the study of the African-American experience. The prize is given by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

The award is named for Frederick Douglass (1818–1895), the man who escaped slavery and emerged as one of the great American abolitionists, reformers, writers, and orators of the nineteenth century. It is the most generous history prize in its field, awarding $25,000 annually to the year’s best non-fiction book on slavery, resistance, and/or abolition.

Announcing the award finalists, the Gilder Lehman Center said of Carney and Rosomoff’s book: “In the Shadow of Slavery tells the fascinating story of how enslaved Africans shaped and changed the landscape of the New World….Comprehensive and compelling, this is a work of  truly global dimensions that narrates the ordeal of enslavement as a simultaneous story of food, memory, and survival.”

The other finalists are: Siddharth Kara for Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery (Columbia University Press); and Robert E. McGlone for John Brown’s War Against Slavery (Cambridge University Press). The award will be presented to the winner on February 24, 2011.