Black Land Matters: Black Farming and Food Security Webinar Recording Now Available
Recently, our director Anu Rangarajan moderated a conversation between Natalie Baszile, filmmaker and author of the novel, Queen Sugar, and Karen Washington, co-founder of Black Urban Growers (BUGS), for a Rural Humanities webinar.
In the half-century following the American Civil War, Black farmers amassed approximately 15 million acres of land. By the end of the 20th century 90%, of that had been lost through discriminatory legislation and predatory practices — a loss equal in size to half the area of New York State. Malcolm X famously declared that “Revolution is based on land,” and was one of many who have argued that the issues of racial justice and land ownership are inextricably linked. Add to his assertions the central importance of food security and sovereignty and you have the foundational goals of the modern revolutionaries trying to address the historical and contemporary injustices faced by African Americans in the rural community.
The speakers addressed the issues surrounding the loss of Black property as well as the connection between food and land justice and African Americans’ contemporary struggle for justice in general.