Monday, February 06, 2017

Blacks & Food Justice: A Resource Guide

Black Panther Charles Bursey serves children their breakfast. (Photograph courtesy of Pirkle Jones and Ruth-Marion Baruch) 

This post, as was the post on “Young Blacks & Agroecology, is motivated, in part, by the fact that this is Black History Month. More than a little of this material goes beyond the scope of African Americans, strictly speaking. 

A Basic Bibliography:
  • Alkon, Alison Hope. Black, White, and Green: Farmers Markets, Race, and the Green Economy. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2012. 
  • Alkon, Alison Hope and Julian Agyeman, eds. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011. 
  • Allen, Will. The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People and Communities. New York: Gotham Press/Penguin, 2012.  
  • Bhopal, Raj S. Ethnicity, Race, and Health in Multicultural Societies: Foundations for Better Epidemiology, Public Health, and Health Care. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. 
  • Bowens, Natasha. The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming. Gabriola Island, British Columbia: New Society Publishers, 2015.  
  • Broad, Garrett. More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2016. 
  • Daniel, Pete. Dispossession: Discrimination against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.  
  • Ficara, John Francis (photographs/essay by Juan Williams). Black Farmers in America. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2006. 
  • Gottleib, Robert and Anupama Joshi. Food Justice. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010.  
  • Harper, A. Breeze, ed. Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society. Herndon, VA: Lantern Books, 2009. 
  • Hatch, Anthony Ryan. Blood Sugar: Racial Pharmacology and Food Justice in Black America. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. 
  • Holt-Giménez, Eric, ed. Food Movements Unite! Oakland, CA: Food First Books, 2011. 
  • Holt-Giménez, Eric and Raj Patel (with Annie Shattuck), eds. Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice. Oakland, CA: Food First Books, 2009.  
  • Nembhard, Jessica Gordon. Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014. 
  • Winne, Mark. Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 2008.  
  • Witt, Doris. Black Hunger: Food and the Politics of U.S. Identity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 
Bill Whitfield of the Black Panther chapter in Kansas City serves free breakfast to children before they go to school, April 16, 1969. (Photograph by William P. Straeter, AP) 

Groups, Organizations, and Movements:

  • Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference – “The Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference is a national conference presented by Black Urban Growers (BUGs), an organization of volunteers committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, we nurture collective black leadership to ensure we have a seat at the table.” http://bugs.nationbuilder.com/ 
  • The Black/Land Project – ”Back/Land gathers and analyzes stories about the relationship between black people, land and place. The purpose of the project is to identify and amplify the current critical dialogues surrounding the relationship between black people (including African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans and African immigrants) and land.” http://www.blacklandproject.org/   
  • Black Main Street (46 Black-Owned Farms and Grocery Stores to Support) – “Black-Owned farms and grocery stores are closing around this country at an alarming rate. We have to make a better effort to support the remaining few and build new ones. Please check this list for Black-Owned farms and grocery stores in your area and start supporting, if you aren’t already.” https://blackmainstreet.net/black-farmers-and-grocery-stores-to-buy-from/ 
  • The Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living – “The Black Oaks Center for Sustainable Renewable Living entrusted by its founders, assists communities in reducing their carbon footprint and fossil fuel use. It is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to education and training.” http://www.blackoakscenter.org/welcome.html   
  • Black Vegans Rock – “Black Vegans Rock was founded by Aph Ko after she wrote the first list that spotlighted 100 Black Vegans for Striving with Systems back in June 2015. She decided to research and compile a list of influential Black vegans who were doing incredible work to dismantle the stereotype that veganism was a ‘white person’s’ thing. After releasing the list, she received emails from Black vegans all over the world who wanted to be featured on the list as well. Some people told her that they had a vegan organization and they wanted to get it in front of other Black vegans. Since Aph didn’t want to add on to the 100 Black Vegans list, she decided to create a platform devoted to spotlighting incredible Black vegans every day. Aph received grants from A Well-Fed World as well as The Pollination Project to help get the project off the ground.” http://www.blackvegansrock.com/ 
  • The Campaign for Food Justice Community Now – “CFJN is an emerging membership based organization that applies race, class and gender analysis to the injustices perpetuated by the food and agriculture system in communities of color and tribal nations. CFJN will promote community inspired solutions and public policies that advance the health and well-being of all communities. CFJN seeks to promote social change by engaging and training its members to act as citizen leaders where they live. CFJN will promote constituent engaged advocacy and participatory democracy directed at ending all forms of exploitation in the food and agriculture system. CFJN seeks to weave together all the threads of the food movement and the broader social justice movement to advance public policies that support the right to food and call for the comprehensive reform of food and agriculture polices in the United States.” https://www.facebook.com/TheCampaignForFoodJusticeNow  
  • CATA (El Comíte de Apoyo a Los Trabajadores Agrícolas): The Farmworker Support Committee – “CATA is a non-profit, migrant farmworker organization that is governed by and comprised of farmworkers who are actively engaged in the struggle for better working and living conditions. CATA’s mission is to empower and educate farmworkers through leadership development and capacity building so that they are able to make informed decisions regarding the best course of action for their interests. CATA has advanced based on the belief that only through organizing and collective action can they achieve justice and fullness of life. CATA’s programs are based on the Popular Education Methodology, which actively involve farmworkers in the process of social change. This means that the analysis and proposed actions come directly from the farmworkers. Also inherent in CATA’s mission is the importance of analyzing the farmworker reality in terms of the food system. In doing so, projects and campaigns are undertaken with the goal of achieving meaningful and lasting improvements rather than mere reforms to a legal and economic system that is structurally biased against them.” http://cata-farmworkers.org/ 
  • Civil Eats – “Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. We publish stories that shift the conversation around sustainable agriculture in an effort to build economically and socially just communities. Founded in January 2009, Civil Eats is a community resource of over 100 contributors who are active participants in the evolving food landscape from Capitol Hill to Main Street. Civil Eats was named the James Beard Foundation’s 2014 Publication of the Year.” http://civileats.com/2016/07/15/the-resurgence-of-black-farmers/
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers – “The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work.  Built on a foundation of farmworker community organizing starting in 1993, and reinforced with the creation of a national consumer network since 2000, CIW’s work has steadily grown over more than twenty years to encompass three broad and overlapping spheres: Fair Food Program, Anti-Slavery Campaign, and Campaign for Fair Food.” http://www.ciw-online.org/  
  • The Color of Food – “Preserving stories, celebrating resilience, changing the face of agriculture: A multimedia project focusing on Black, Latino, Native, and Asian farmers.”  http://thecolorofood.com/   
  • Cooperation Jackson – “Cooperation Jackson is an emerging vehicle for sustainable community development, economic democracy, and community ownership. Our vision is to develop a cooperative network based in Jackson, Mississippi that will consist of four interconnected and interdependent institutions: an emerging federation of local worker cooperatives, a developing cooperative incubator, a cooperative education and training center (the Lumumba Center for Economic Democracy and Development), and a cooperative bank or financial institution. Cooperation Jackson’s basic theory of change is centered on the position that organizing and empowering the structurally under and unemployed sectors of the working class, particularly from Black and Latino communities, to build worker organized and owned cooperatives will be a catalyst for the democratization of our economy and society overall. Cooperation Jackson believes that we can replace the current socio-economic system of exploitation, exclusion and the destruction of the environment with a proven democratic alternative. An alternative built on equity, cooperation, worker democracy, and environmental sustainability to provide meaningful living wage jobs, reduce racial inequities, and build community wealth.” http://www.cooperationjackson.org/ 
  • Detroit Black Community Food Security Network –  “The Detroit Black Community Food Security Network (DBCFSN) was formed in February 2006 to address food insecurity in Detroit’s Black community, and to organize members of that community to play a more active leadership role in the local food security movement. We observed that many of the key players in the local urban agriculture movement were young whites, who while well-intentioned, never-the-less, exerted a degree of control inordinate to their numbers in Detroit’s population. Many of those individuals moved to Detroit from other places specifically to engage in agricultural or other food security work. It was and is our view that the most effective movements grow organically from the people whom they are designed to serve. Representatives of Detroit’s majority African-American population must be in the leadership of efforts to foster food justice and food security in Detroit. While our specific focus is on Detroit’s African-American community, we realize that improved policy and an improved localized food system is a benefit to all Detroit residents.” http://detroitblackfoodsecurity.org/index.html 
  • Detroit Food Justice Task Force – “… is a consortium of People of Color led organizations and allies that share a commitment to creating a food security plan for Detroit that is: sustainable; that provides healthy, affordable foods for all of the city’s people; that is based on best-practices and programs that work; and that is just and equitable in the distribution of food and jobs.” http://www.detroitfoodjustice.org/  
  • Farms to Grow, Inc. – is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to working with Black farmers and underserved sustainable farmers around the country. Farms To Grow, Inc. is committed to sustainable farming and innovative agriculture practices which preserve the cultural and biological diversity, the agroecological balance of the local environment. Farms To Grow, Inc. aims to increase the capacity of underserved farmers to keep their farm operations and establish farming as a viable career for future generations. Underserved farmers may include Native American, Hispanic, other minority groups, women, the physically challenged and limited access organic farmers. Our mission is to assist African American farmers and other under-served farmers/gardeners maintain and create sustainable farms and spaces to grow food and motivate the next generation of farmers to grow sustainably and with community in mind.” http://www.farmstogrow.com/ 
  • Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund – “We strive toward the development of self-supporting communities with programs that increase income and enhance other opportunities; and we strive to assist in land retention and development, especially for African Americans, but essentially for all family farmers. We do this with an active and democratic involvement in poor areas across the South, through education and outreach strategies which support low-income people in molding their communities to become more humane and livable. We assist in the development of cooperatives and credit unions as a collective strategy to create economic self-sufficiency.” http://www.federationsoutherncoop.com/  
  • Food First – “Food First is a ‘people’s think tank’ dedicated to ending the injustices that cause hunger and helping communities to take back control of their food systems. We advance our mission through three interrelated work areas: research, education and action. These work areas are designed to promote informed citizen engagement with the institutions and policies that control our food and to integrate local, national and global efforts. Our work both informs and amplifies the voices of social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty.” https://foodfirst.org/projects/ 
  • Food Justice & Anti-Racism Working Group of the Mariposa Food Coop, West Philadelphia (FJAR) Youth and Food Justice: Lessons from the Civil Rights Movement – “The Food Justice and Anti-Racism Working Group (FJAR) is a committee of Mariposa Food Co-op. FJAR understands racism to be a form of oppression that is linked to and reinforces all other oppressions, including food systems, both urban and rural. Therefore, we work to identify and dismantle institutionalized racism, classism, patriarchy, ableism, homophobia and transphobia within Mariposa, and to align our co-op with social change related to fair labor practices, food access, environmental justice and anti-gentrification. Our work will consist of organizing food justice and anti-oppression trainings for staff/members, offering solidarity and support to relevant local organizations, strategic organizational development, outreach and more. Our aim is to create positive social change at Mariposa which will serve as a catalyst in dismantling broader institutionalized oppressions in our communities.” https://mariposafoodjustice.wordpress.com/about/  
  • Food Lab Detroit – “We’re a diverse group of locally-owned food businesses—caterers, bakers, picklers, distributors, corner stores, cafes—who support each other in the process of growing and improving our individual businesses, and who are committed to taking active steps together towards a more delicious, healthy, fair, and green food economy in Detroit.” https://foodlabdetroit.com/who-we-are
  • Growing Food and Justice For All Initiative – “Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative (GFJI) is an initiative aimed at dismantling racism and empowering low-income and communities of color through sustainable and local agriculture. This comprehensive network views dismantling racism as a core principal which brings together social change agents from diverse sectors working to bring about new, healthy and sustainable food systems and supporting and building multicultural leadership in impoverished communities throughout the world. The vision for this initiative is to establish a powerful network of individuals, organizations and community based entities all working toward a food secure and just world.” http://growingfoodandjustice.org/ 
  • Land Loss Prevention Project – “The Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) was founded in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to curtail epidemic losses of Black owned land in North Carolina. LLPP was incorporated in the state of North Carolina in 1983. The organization broadened its mission in 1993 to provide legal support and assistance to all financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners in North Carolina. LLPP’s advocacy for financially distressed and limited resource farmers involves action in three separate arenas: litigation, public policy, and promoting sustainable agriculture and environment.” https://www.landloss.org/   
  • National Black Food & Justice Alliance – “The National Black Food and Justice Alliance is a coalition of Black-led organizations working towards cultivating and advancing Black leadership, building Black self-determination, Black institution building and organizing for food sovereignty, land and justice. The Alliance seeks to achieve this by engaging in broad based coalition organizing for black food and land, increasing visibility of Black led narratives and work, advancing Black led visions for just and sustainable communities, and building capacity for self-determination within our local, national, and international food systems and land rights work. Our areas of focus include black food sovereignty, self-determining food economies, and land. We approach food sovereignty, land and self-determining food economies via the lens of healing, organizing and resistance against anti-Blackness.”  http://www.blackfoodjustice.org/ 
  • New Roots – (Louisville, KY) New Roots works with fresh food insecure communities to create sustainable systems for accessing the farm-fresh food we all need to be healthy and happy. In a nutshell, we are uniting communities to end food injustice. The main fruit of our labor are the Fresh Stop Markets — farm-fresh food markets that pop up at local churches, housing authorities, and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. The food has been paid for in advance so that farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as they do with a standard farmers’ market.” http://www.newroots.org/  
  • Northern Manhattan Food Justice Initiative (WE ACT for Environmental Justice) – The goal of WE ACT’s Food Justice Initiative is for Northern Manhattan schools to have access to good food. WE ACT defines ‘good food’ as safe, fresh, and nutritious school meals that are prepared in schools in a quality environment, that kids eat and parents support, to contribute to the reduction of childhood obesity. WE ACT works towards this goal by organizing parents through our Food Justice Training. Our Food Justice Training consists of three workshops and aims to build a vision of what parents want for school food, educating them about the school food system, and conducting a power analysis of the school food system to understand what power we need to leverage to achieve their vision.” http://community.weact.org/northernmanhattanfoodjusticeinitiative 
  • Nourish/Resist – “We are a group of social justice minded, People of Color (POC) working to plan and activate transformative actions within our communities in 2017, using food as a platform. We see food as a strategy for resistance and we seek to unapologetically use food spaces to nourish and strategically organize our community to: 1. Force a power paradigm shift. 2. Snatch back electoral power on the local and state level. 3. Foster personal and food security for our community. 4. Break down silos to create coalitions across our similarly-minded movements, people, and organizations.” https://nourishresist.org/
  • Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural – “… is an alliance of farmers, farmworkers, indigenous, migrant, and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and land. Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural is one of the most grassroots-oriented and culturally-diverse of rural organizations. With over 50 grassroots member organizations we serve as a critical advocacy voice of African-American, American-Indian, Asian-American, Euro-American, Latino, and women farmers, ranchers, farmworkers, and rural communities throughout the U.S. Through our shared efforts, we were able to secure more than 30 sections of policies in the 2008 Farm Bill that provide a seat at the table in agriculture for the producers, farmworkers, and communities we serve. 
  • Setting an Anti-Racist Table – “Conversations on recognizing racism, white privilege, and counteracting oppression in communities of color, as expressed in the commerce and culture of food. We are a group of anti-racists who meet in open discussions to foster alliances between organizers of color and white allies in New York City’s food justice and ­sustainability movement. Our agri-food system can’t be considered sustainable while it yields structural inequities of food access and quality for different people based on race; and endures commercially through the routine labor exploitation mostly of people of color. Conversations are held separately among white allies and people of color, and in multi-racial groups to address head-on the nature of and reasons for broad food resource allocations that favor white people, excluding people of color from fair access to good sustenance and land. http://detroitblackfoodsecurity.org/index.html 
  • Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON) – “… provides education and training to small-scale underserved farmers and their communities on the best practices for creating sustainable and economically viable agricultural projects and programs.” http://www.saafon.org/  
  • Southern Grassroots Economies Project – “… is building networks across the US South to promote and launch sustainable cooperative economies. Our work is inspired by the rich history of social justice struggle in the South and looks to the example of the worker-owned cooperatives of Mondragon, Spain and Emilia Ramagno, Italy for guidance. Business enterprises that are community-based are responsive to the needs of the people in their immediate area. They are far less likely than large corporations to pick up and leave their community based solely on the promise of a greater profit margin. These businesses, and the people who own and work in them, are also far better stewards of the environment and the local ‘commons’—because these resources also nurture and belong to them.” http://sgeproject.org/
See too Raj Patel’s short piece, “Survival Pending Revolution: What the Black Panthers Can Teach the US Food Movement.”

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