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Black Agrarianism

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to their decline to less than 2 percent today and many Black communities lack access to fresh food and nature. Join us to learn how you can join the national effort for food and land sovereignty for all growers. Together we will (1) Learn how specific sustainable farming practices, like raised beds, polycropping, rotation grazing, the CSA, et al have roots in African agrarianism. (2) Explore the legacy of land-based oppression that has impacted the Black community and examples of resistance over time. (3) Engage in conversation about current and potential land sovereignty work in Black-Indigenous communities.

Track and Session Info

Equity, Social Justice, Food Sovereignty
Women in Food & Agriculture
C | 3:30 pm

Date and Location


Leah Penniman

Leah Penniman
Presenter Affiliation: 
Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director, Soul Fire Farm
Leah Penniman is a Black Kreyol educator, farmer/peyizan, author, and food justice activist from Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. She co-founded Soul Fire Farm in 2011 with the mission to end racism in the food system and reclaim our ancestral connection to land. As co-Executive Director, Leah is part of a team that facilitates powerful food sovereignty programs - including farmer training for Black & Brown people, a subsidized farm food distribution program for communities living under food apartheid, and domestic and international organizing toward equity in the food system. Leah has been farming since 1996, holds an MA in Science Education and a BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a Manye (Queen Mother) in Vodun. The work of Leah and Soul Fire Farm has been recognized by the Soros Racial Justice Fellowship, Fulbright Program, Grist 50, and the James Beard Award, among others. Her book, "Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land" is a love song for the land and her people.  



Thank you to our EcoFarm 2023 sponsors!