Farming While Black

Hearty bulgur and roasted and marinated veggies from  Brooklyn Packers  and a team of community chefs.

Hearty bulgur and roasted and marinated veggies from Brooklyn Packers and a team of community chefs.

Soul Fire Farm. The name just sparks something in you, doesn’t it? It wakes you up.

The farm and education center seeks to end racism and injustice in farming. Leah Penniman is its co-executive director and program manager and also author of Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, released at the end of October

The book culminates from a “lifetime of research,” Penniman said.

I was so grateful to speak to her when I was researching the farm bill earlier this fall. I met her this past Sunday an event for her book at MayDay Space.

As she says in the book’s acknowledgements, this book directly confronts white supremacy and colonialism in our food system

‘Where our food comes from’ is something we often talk about without acknowledging that it’s bred from suffering. We have to look deeper. The “modern” food system is still stained with injustice and inequality. 

The event wasn’t a traditional book signing. We broke into groups — farmers, activists, wanna-be farmers (and with the connections made on Sunday, will-be farmers), community members and more — to discuss breaking systems of injustice.

Conversations like this can be disheartening when you feel like you don’t reach concrete solutions with steps to immediately act upon.

For me, it’s trying to figure out how to help without being in the farming and/or black communities, but as a close ally who cares deeply — and equally — about food and people.

Great ideas start with conversations. Then we can create small steps toward dismantling a monstrous capitalist system that favors corporate power.

Lentil soup to fuel the brain.

Lentil soup to fuel the brain.

Taking time to be grateful for your food is so important, and I think this book will make me more grateful than ever. (Hint: It actually makes your food taste better too. Try it!)

I just got my copy and can’t wait to dig in, discuss and help feed the movement in whatever ways I can.

Lmk if you read it!