Photo of Soul Fire Farm.
In honor of Juneteenth, a holiday that recognizes the end of slavery in America, A Growing Culture held a daylong broadcast to elevate Black voices in the food system and highlight ways to promote justice.
The Juneteenth Broadcast featured presenters including Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, farmers Leah Penniman and Karen Washington, Malik Yakini of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust board president Sawdayah Brownlee, and more.
The broadcast was streamed live on Friday, June 19, and the full conversation is now available on AGC’s YouTube channel. Conversations ranged in subjects including closing the food movement’s generational gap, agricultural oppression, seed sovereignty, and plants that have played a role in Black freedom. The full schedule is available here.
“I’m excited to participate in The Juneteenth Broadcast because I’m looking forward to people understanding that the narrative that Black people in Texas were not free until the Union Army General Granger arrived and read their proclamation is false,” Brownlee, who organized and will present in a conversation on land and liberation, told Food Tank via email. “Freedom is not a one-time event given to oppressed people by the state.”
“Just as it took a collective and organized effort of Black people freeing themselves across the South, it will take collaboration, communication, and strategic efforts to divest from the inequitable food system that exists and reclaim land to grow our communities on,” Brownlee said.
A Growing Culture (AGC) works to build a more sustainable food system by supporting farmers’ autonomy and innovation, land ownership, and traditional knowledge sharing. In addition to turning their platform over to Black food system voices on Juneteenth, AGC also hopes the broadcast would be an invitation to corporations, foundations, donors, and allies to stand in solidarity with the Black community and listen to their stories.
The Juneteenth Broadcast was a special edition of AGC’s The Hunger for Justice Series, a weekly live conversation about building a post-COVID food system. Guests have included Black farmer and beekeeper Samantha Foxx, Palestine Heirloom Seed Library founder Vivien Sansour, and gender equality advocates Wekoweu (Akole) Tsuhah and Seno Tsuhah.