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Sorghum is a grain, or cereal crop. It grows in clusters of tiny seeds attached to a larger stem; these clusters are called panicles.

In America, sorghum is mainly used for livestock feed, but it is a staple crop for humans in third-world countries. It is typically grown and consumed by the poorest of the poor due to its drought-resistant nature.

The women in Africa, mainly in the region south of the Sahara desert, must endeavor in a lengthy process to prepare the sorghum for human consumption. They must first "thresh" the sorghum, which takes the seeds off of the stem. They accomplish this by using a mortar and pestle to pound the sorghum panicles.