Historically, Black farmers have produced food not only to feed their communities but also as a form of resistance, community building and organizing. Despite this powerful legacy, the presence and voices of Black farmers have been alarmingly absent in the national conversation about who grows our food and at the mainstream food and farming conferences in the United States.
To address inequalities in the farming industry, Black Urban Growers (BUGS) launched the Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners National Conference to convene Black growers from across the country and provide a space for shared learning and community building. This conference provides educational opportunities, facilitates access to land and capital, and strengthens ties between urban and rural Black farmers.
BUGS was founded to sustain shared knowledge, fuel advocacy around food and farm issues, and ensure that Black growers can thrive and make their voices heard.
Now in its tenth year, the Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference continues to amplify the legacy of Black farmers past and present, and provide a national platform for Black educators, advocates, chefs, urban and rural farmers, and those working for food sovereignty. The wisdom, narratives and experiences exchanged at these gatherings help create a strong foundation for the Black farming and food justice movement.
The correlation between the lack of healthy food options in Black neighborhoods and high rates of diet-related illnesses can’t be overlooked. Placing the health and wellbeing of Black communities at the center of their work, BUGS continues to reclaim a more positive narrative of Black people in the agricultural system and strengthen the visibility of Black farming across the country.
For more on the great work BUGs has been doing, visit www.blackurbangrowers.org
Sign up today to receive the ROOT Report stories in your email: WhyHunger.org/TheRootReport