I just touched down in Buffalo, New York. I went from the airport almost straight to this radio station to introduce this community to our work. I’m speaking at this year’s Uniting Hope Conference. I’ll tell you all about it in the next edition of our newsletter.
One of the things that I’m amplifying in my message these days revolves around WHY we do this work the way that we do. It can be so easy to just focus on the warm and fuzzy feelings that so many of us get from gardening, food charity or from being a “foodie.”
But I want to make sure that you know that none of that by itself solves the problem of food insecurity or food apartheid on a community wide level. We must muster the courage to get to the roots of the problem. And at the root of the problem is racism, white supremacy and economic violence via capitalism. Please listen to me when I say this:
As I travel this country from city to city, community to community, I see the same vile program in place. Black people are being intentionally malnourished by systems of domination and extraction. This has resulted in generations of our family members suffering from preventable disease and now our children and children’s children are being assaulted by the same systems.
This is spiritual warfare! I am issuing a call to action for churches, farmers, gardeners, chefs, nutritionists, food justice activists, public health professionals and other allied stakeholders to see your work as resistance and as an act of freedom fighting. Join an organization that has this understanding and put your hands to the plow. Our people and the planet depend upon it.
In every edition of our newsletter, we hope to help equip you with some of what we’ll need to withstand and overcome until we can sing that old song of the church together:
Victory is mine
Victory today is mine
I told Satan get thee behind
Victory today is mine!
Yours In The Struggle,
Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, III
The Black Church Food Security Network
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on food, health, and generation starvation from a system perspective. It’s a good way to look at it.
Thanks for taking the time to read it, Alicia! It excites me to think about how a systems analysis will better inform our personal and organizational approaches to advancing the mission for food and land sovereignty.
Could you explain more on how the black community is being starved. What are the institutions doing to cause this?
Heber, you’re NOT wrong. I have tried to grocery shop where I work in Southwest Philadelphia, and the offerings are pitiful. Nothing that would be considered acceptable in the ‘burbs.