Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement

Colloquium | September 26 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | 132 Mulford Hall

 Monica White, Associate Professor of Environmental Justice, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 Center for Research on Social Change, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, Berkeley Food Institute, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy, and Mgmt. (ESPM), College of Natural Resources

Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement revises the historical narrative of African American resistance and breaks new ground by including the work, roles, and contributions of southern Black farmers and the organizations they formed. The book traces the origins of Black farmers’ organizations to the late 1800s, emphasizing their activities during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Whereas much of the existing scholarship views agriculture as a site of oppression and exploitation of Black people, Freedom Farmers reveals agriculture also as a site of resistance by concentrating on the work of Black farm operators and laborers who fought for the right to participate in the food system as producers and to earn a living wage in the face of racially, socially, and politically repressive conditions. Moreover, it provides an historical foundation that will add meaning and context for current conversations regarding the resurgence of agriculture in the context of food justice/sovereignty movements in urban spaces like Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and New Orleans.

 This event will be followed by a reception.