So many Americans, in our Seamless-enabled lives, are increasingly disconnected from the sources of our food. We tend to forget that our produce has to be grown somewhere, by someone. What’s more, that whole agricultural system, like so many other aspects of contemporary American life, has been affected and impoverished by structural inequities.
As Nadra Nittle writes in Eater:
African American farmers are disappearing.
The legacy of structural inequality has steadily depleted their ranks. For nearly a century, racial discrimination in agriculture, exclusion from federal relief programs, and laws that preyed upon the economically disadvantaged have slashed the number of Black farmers in America from the nearly 1 million who farmed in 1920 to fewer than 50,000 today…
For a once-enslaved people forced to work the land of their oppressors, landownership has always symbolized freedom…
Today, achieving autonomy though farmland acquisition is an experience familiar to few African Americans. White landowners possess 98% of all farmland, and 95% of farmers are White, according to a report from the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). The events of the past year have only made things more difficult. Through 2020, Black farmers have fought to retain their farmland amid discrimination from the federal government, mass commercialization of agriculture, racial violence, economic instability, and, now, a pandemic.
For more about Black farmers and how to support their farms, read the whole article here: