WhyHunger’s What Ferguson Means for the Food Justice Movement series is a bold attempt to explore the way in which police violence and institutionalized anti-black racism is deeply interconnected to food, land and Black bodies. What is the connection between the death of Black people at the hands of the state (police shootings) and the death of Black people at the hands of the corporate food system (diet-related disease/land displacement/redlining)?
To lift up critical voices of the movement, WhyHunger’s Beatriz Beckford facilitated a national call with dynamic organizers and activists across the country to gather a collective interrogation of these issues from the perspective of Black activists organizing around food justice. Issue #3, released today as the culmination of our Black History Month content, features an introduction by Montague Simmons from the Organization for Black Struggle and farmer, activist and community organizer Amanda Walker who examines food justice through a racial justice lens and believes that the energy surrounding Ferguson can be channeled into community organizing and developing business cooperatives similar to that of HOSCO Farms to achieve sustainable change and economic growth.
Beatriz Beckford: What explicit connections can we make between food justice and police violence?
Amanda Walker: If we are to create an environment that values Black life we must first build up our capital and cannot ignore the role food plays in the economy. By building cooperative businesses that generate dollars we can recirculate dollars back into the community. But the truth is that without good land and good food we cannot be truly free. In communities of color where there are high poverty rates, the lack of opportunity for economic advancement provides a space for community ownership through food production to take root and grow into a network of co-member owners. This is a way to make sure dollars are put to use within the community.
Continue reading the full issue and join this important conversation online using hashtag #FoodJusticeVoices to share your thoughts!