I am excited to announce the upcoming publication (2015) of The Color of Food book by New Society Press. The book comes from my multimedia project started in 2010 to share stories of food sovereignty in communities of color. The project was created to amplify, preserve and celebrate the stories of Black, Latino, Indigenous & Asian farmers and food activists working to revolutionize the food system in our communities.
The book will soon be available for pre-order, but for now you can see bits and pieces of the project here:
Storytelling & Photography
The Color of Food is photographic and documentary in nature because I wanted to capture the personal stories of these farmers while also changing the image of agriculture as it is currently portrayed in the media. This project is not only political in its message, but also helps us celebrate and preserve the history, tradition and beautiful culture that make up our agriculture communities. While revealing firsthand the relationship between race and food through the portraits and stories of our Black, Asian, Native and Latino farmers, the Color of Food explores agricultural history, traditional knowledge passed down over generations of farming and an inherited connection to our land. This photo documentary also addresses the movement for food sovereignty – a term that means gaining control over all aspects of our food – including issues like land loss and farmworkers’ rights which we see taking place globally today.
I hope the voices and faces of the Color of Food project can repaint the picture of food and agriculture for people of color, inspire new brothers and sisters to connect with the land, and preserve and share these vital stories widely.
Race & Food
These are two pillars of society that are deeply etched with injustice. From seed to table, the corporate-controlled food industry in this country is rife with discrimination, oppression and the denial of rights. Rights to healthy food, rights to land, rights to a clean environment, and rights to an equal opportunity for success and livelihood for farmers are not fairly attainable. One problem is that the people who control this broken food system do not represent the most impacted communities: women and communities of color and low income. Another problem is that the “food movement” community is usually racially and economically exclusive which just perpetuates the cycle. Such topics as racial health disparities, “food deserts” and “food justice” have rapidly come into the limelight lacking any input at all from the communities being spoken for. If we cannot see and hear from our communities, we will not have a food system free of racial inequities.
Where are Farmers of Color?
By literally putting people of color farming (back) on the map, the aim is to facilitate access to the vast number of folks of color working within the food industry. The Color of Food map and directory is public and includes location, contact info and links to the farm or organization website (if available). This network of farmers and foodies of color also creates opportunity for shared educational and training resources, connections for working together, marketing and consumer distribution between farmers and communities of color, connecting young farmers of color to new mentor farmers, or just finding each other in this movement to gather and share!
The directory is free to use and to be listed. Your farm, market or organization can choose how much information you want to be public. The map is only for farms and work led by people of color, not in service of these communities.
And thanks to all the supportive Media that has helped amplify these voices.