Black Farming, Self Determination and Resilience: An Interview with activist and researcher Monica White, PhD
By Dara Cooper, Contributing Editor, Environment, Food, and Sustainability
As an activist working on food justice, I have a very personal experience with systemic poverty, disenfranchisement, violence and Black land loss. Both my maternal and paternal grandparents owned land in the south, grew food, and experienced relative material success; then had their land either stolen or burned down by the state and racist vigilantes. Unfortunately, narratives like this are far too common among Black communities in America leaving many of us with memories of sharecropping, wage theft, violence, and lynchings. As I work to reconnect people of color with food production, I have come to realize how important it is to also remember the resistance and agency of Black farmers historically and present day.
Dr. Monica White through her work on Black farmers and liberation movements taught me (or reminded me, because it was in my ancestral memory) that there is a very powerful relationship between African Americans and the land that must be remembered. The land is, was, and has always been our healing space and our means of liberation and resistance. Dr. White reminds us that many organizations such as the Federation of Southern Cooperatives have fought and continue to fight to protect that memory and legacy of self- determination.
As millions of low-income communities and communities of color struggle to access quality food, organizations like the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) are working to build food security while simultaneously reclaiming a sense of agency and self-determination in the food system among African descendants. Continue reading ?<http://acsjl.cmail3.com/t/d-