In her article, “Radical Farmers Use Fresh Food to Fight Racial Injustice and the New Jim Crow,” Leah Penniman draws connections between the incarceration of black people, police violence, and the systematic use of hunger and malnutrition as a weapon wielded against black communities, pointing to the importance of food and land:
If we are to create a society that values black life, we cannot ignore the role of food and land. I believe that black people’s collective experience with slavery and sharecropping has created an aversion to the land and a sense that the land itself is an oppressor. The truth is that without good land and good food we cannot be truly free. The Freedom Food Alliance represents one important voice among many insisting that the senseless deaths of our black brothers and sisters by all forms of violence—police shooting, diet-related illness, economic marginalization—must end.
Penniman shows how these connections are being made by grassroots organizations that link the fight for food justice with the fight against the prison-industrial-complex and the new Jim Crow. Penniman profiles folks like Jalal Sabur of the Freedom Food Alliance, a prison abolitionist who helped connect farmers, prisoners, and their families together in networks of self-reliance and resistance.
I won’t bother summarizing or excerpting more: read the article! It’s short, accessible, and shows how these groups are drawing lessons and inspiration from past movements, and bringing together struggles and alternatives that often remain separate.