In Southeastern San Diego, a food desert, the People’s Produce Farmers Market will host an African American History Month event featuring displays and discussion on the Status and Struggle of the Black Farmer. Did you know?
- In 1910, nearly one million Black farmers in the U.S. owned a total of 15 million acres; by 1969 they held only 6 million acres.
- In 1920, Blacks owned 14% of the nation’s farms; today, there are only 18,000 black farmers, representing less than 1% of all farms.
- In 2011, a federal judge ruled that tens of thousands of African American and Native American farmers who suffered racial discrimination by the U.S. Agriculture Department in the 1980s and ’90s could start getting compensation from a $1.25 billion settlement.
San Diego County is home to the largest number of small farms in the nation – 6687, yet only 27 of these farm operators are African American according to the 2007 Agriculture Census Report.
The current food system is failing African Americans as evidenced by the high rates of chronic disease/health disparities, the proliferation of food deserts and the growing impetus to develop urban agriculture in communities of color.
Since the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 to today, African-Americans have fought to acquire and maintain land to produce food, and have encountered incredible obstacles along the way.
There is clearly a connection between food access, food production, health, and poverty, which needs to be examined as we engage in building a sustainable food system that is inclusive and responsive to the needs and strengths of all eaters.
Locally, People’s Produce Project is a pioneer in urban agriculture, with a farmers market, food preparation classes, community garden projects created and operated by residents, and involvement in the food justice movement and city-wide advocacy efforts to make San Diego more supportive of food sovereignty for all.
At the leadership of People’s Produce Project are African Americans who are committed to connecting Southeastern San Diego to the global food movement; while creating a community-based food system which builds on the assets and legacies of this geographical defined space.
Come to the People’s Produce Farmers Market, located at 4981 Market Street, on Friday, February 17, 2012 2p – 6p to learn and share more facts and figures on African Americans and Agriculture. The program will include speakers, cultural expressions, good food and more. There will be opportunities to get involved in this effort.
The People’s Produce Farmers Market is a part of Healthy Works, a county-wide initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, through the County of San Diego; and a part of the County’s “Live Well, San Diego! Building Better Health” initiative, a 10-year vision for healthy communities. Additionally the farmers market is supported by a grant from the Neighborhood Unity Foundation. For more information contact us at 619 262-2022 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“And we can help create a culture- imagine this – where out kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.” – Michelle Obama