This Black History Month we’re taking a few moments to learn more about Black History in relation to food, farming and food justice. We’ve been putting together a weekly list of resources—books, articles, reports, interviews and talks—that cover a range of issues that we need to think about as we move forward.
Read about about the history of African American cooperative business ownership, as well as collective efforts to regenerate sustainable agriculture and land access. Tune in to a podcast in which Dr. Monica White talks about why it was important to document the history of Black farmers and the civil rights movement. Listen to how communities are adapting strategies for food sovereignty in Detroit.
Essay: Regeneration – Leah Penniman and Blain Snipstal (Equal Authorship)
Regeneration is part of Land Justice: Re-imagining Land, Food, and the Commons, a collection of essays edited by Justine M. Williams and Eric Holt-Giménez. This essay by Leah Penniman, and Blain Snipstal of the Black Dirt Farming Collective, is part of a collectively-authored section on “Black Agrarianism,” which deals with the deep roots of agrarianism in Black communities. It details the long and intentional history of dispossession, as well as the many visionary struggles to resist and regenerate by cooperatively building land access and sustainable farming traditions.
We featured Dr. Monica White’s Freedom Farmers in our first resource list. Whether or not you found time to read the book, this #RealFoodReads podcast provides more insight into how the book came about and why it had to be written. In this conversation, Dr. White talks about why it was important to her to document the story of black farmers and the civil rights movement, why agriculture is and has always been a strategy of resistance and how African-Americans have always used food to create community and move towards freedom and liberation. She also talks about the issues small farmers experience right now, and what we can do about the growing disconnect between producers and consumers of food.
Talk: From ‘Motor City’ to food resilience: How Detroit has risen from the ashes – Malik Yakini, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN), 2017