Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The way forward-3?

From The Hidden Radicalism of Southern Food Freedom Farms and Pig Banks.
"In the late 1960s, as the civil rights movement shifted to address economic injustice, Ms. Hamer conceived agricultural solutions to the plight of her fellow Americans, including a communal farm and livestock share program in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta. That work set the stage for the progressive agricultural policies and practices of today, with their focus."
"Freedom Farm aimed to give farmers land to work and poor families food to eat. This bold promise threatened plantation agriculture and its scions. Conservative whites saw cooperative agriculture as a threat to their political and economic power. Across the region, white banks called in loans, white families fired cooks and night riders torched crosses."
"With the help of Dorothy Height, the president of the National Council of Negro Women, she developed a Pig Bank in Sunflower County in 1969. Conceived as a complement to Freedom Farm, the idea was innovative and, for the moment and place, odd. Beginning with 35 gilts and five boars, she gave pregnant pigs to Delta families who agreed to care for them, return the mother pig to the bank and keep the remaining piglets as dividends. Poor families butchered those dividends once they reached an acceptable weight."
"Even though her work achieved only a short-term success, it presaged our nation’s contemporary focus on food sovereignty as a solution to malnutrition......Today, as Americans agitate for food sovereignty, the bold agricultural ideas conceived in the late 1960s by Fannie Lou Hamer and other radical Southerners suggest paths for us to follow out of our food deserts."

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