From large scale farms to backyard gardens, it is important for Black people to grow and produce our own food. Black people have a strong history of food production. Before colonialism and slavery, African people were growing, raising, hunting, and fishing for our own food in a sustainable way. We were people who produced life for ourselves.
Although this type of development was interrupted over 600 years ago, in AAPDEP we recognize how necessary it is for us to struggle to achieve this in our communities again. Healthy food is essential for life and now more than ever African (Black) people have to be involved in a process of taking back control over our lives. The production and consumption of food is an essential part of any people being self-sufficient and self-determining.
In the first half of 2020 alone, we’ve seen the global negative impacts of not producing food in our communities. In Kenya, inflation and shortage of produce in working class communities exposed the importance of Africans growing food to feed our own people. The Covid-19 repercussions in South Africa increased Africans’ risk of coming in contact with the virus when buying necessities such as vegetables and fruits. In the US, we watched shelves become barren in supermarkets all over the country. If they say there is no food, does that mean we should be forced to starve? Of course not. We must take matters into our own hands and develop our own strategies to feed the community.
Taking the step to produce our own food will have many benefits for our health and our economy. We will know where our food comes from and what goes into producing it. We won’t be as dependent on our colonizers to provide something so essential to us and our families. Growing our own food independent of our oppressor gives us the ability to win the Black community to be self determining. African People can start to use our resources and labor to benefit our people and not our oppressor. This might seem like a large task at the beginning, but almost anyone can start small and grow something. It is as easy as growing food on your window sill, or on your porch. There are even ways to raise fish in your basement! There are many different skills and techniques for raising food in almost any circumstances.
The biggest resource that we have is each other and the knowledge that we share. As a people, we are lacking organization; the organization to share our knowledge with each other. AAPDEP provides an organizational vehicle for us to collectivize our skills to improve our communities quality of life. It is the mechanism for sharing our resources and building collectively to provide for ourselves. The current pandemic, and the recent attacks on African people that have left us dependent are just a few examples of why this is the necessary time for us to start to produce our own food.
We are calling on Africans, no matter where you are located, to #GrowTheRevolution by joining AAPDEP’s Agriculture Committee or take advantage of the resources provided for your community to start growing food today! You can learn more at DevelopmentForAfrica.org. There, you will find more articles that will address African people controlling our food. We even have DIY articles on different gardening techniques, food storage and preparation. We also have videos on the same subjects. You can also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be put into contact with one of our agriculture committee representatives.
Uhuru! Join the fight for independence! Join AAPDEP today!