William Bronson wrote:
As I write this I am reminded that there are parallel journeys in the Latin and white Appalachian communities,among others..
Nicole Alderman wrote:
I think for many urban poor, especially those who come from generations of urban poor, (which includes my husband and a lot of African Americans) the first step is not gardening, but teaching them what real food is.
paul wheaton wrote:Maybe a good question is: why do people even ask?
favorite Ted Talks on the Subject
Another aspect of permaculture that he's attracted to is Guerrilla Gardening. It's kind of a "stick it to the man" kind of empowerment that really appeals to him. It might appeal to many other oppressed people.
Kerry Rodgers wrote:
There are some people who are doing everything Permaculture advocates, yet are uncomfortable with the word "permaculture", or the Permaculture Movement, or both. I suspect there are black community leaders with this perspective who are doing a lot to reconnect people with land, healthy food, community, etc.
One such leader I happened across on the internet some months ago is Leah Penniman. Her writing is challenging to me, as I don't have much exposure to Social Justice writing or work in my daily life. Nevertheless, I think it is important to listen to many perspectives, especially from people doing good work.
Here is a random selection of Leah Penniman's web presence:
* Her farm: Soul Fire Farm does CSA and education retreats. Her writings also linked. She has a book coming out later this year.
* A sample of her writing: After a Century In Decline, Black Farmers Are Back And On the Rise
paul wheaton wrote:There have been about a dozen times that I was being interviewed and we are talking about hugelkultur or natural building or polyculture or something and then I am asked "why aren't there more black people in permaculture?"
Fuck if I know.
So when I see black people keen on permaculture I ask. And until today, the answer has always been "I dunno."
Bethany Dutch wrote:What a fascinating discussion! It's funny because I have wondered this a few times myself. I saw a video on Youtube not too long ago that was titled something like "what it's like to be a black woman homesteader" and it immediately made me realize how few minorities I see in the Youtube homesteading community. Obviously, here on Permies I have no idea of what anyone's race is, but once I saw that on Youtube it made me notice even more how almost all of the bigg-ish youtubers that I follow are white.
I personally kinda figure it has a lot to do with the demographic stuff and the historical connotations of agriculture in the black community like everyone else is talking about. (IE, the painful slavery/agriculture connection that might have caused their families to leave it behind entirely so there is no "family culture" of growing things, etc). I think one real thing to consider is the idea of exposure, or opportunities given.
As a commonplace middle class, suburban white girl, I was handed opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I was urban poor. We almost always had our own home where there was some semblance of a backyard, and my parents knew how to grow some stuff, and I took an interest because I was exposed to it.
There are SO many opportunities in the world, but it's important to distinguish that while some opportunities are in a sense handed to someone (when they are exposed to it and they realize it's "a thing") vs. the opportunities that might be there but people don't know about them. Or, in other words, you don't know what you don't know. And I suspect that's where a lot of it is.
I suspect that urban poor (which I don't have statistics for but I do know that there is a disproportionate amount of black people in that situation as compared to the overall population of the USA at least) often haven't considered growing their own tomatoes because they might not even have been exposed to people growing their own tomatoes.
Now - it makes me think that a good way to combat this would be to specifically and intentionally bring the "growing stuff is awesome" ideas out to the urban poor areas even if it's just helping people get set up with some easy container-grown plants or figuring out a way to create even a small plot or container garden plot at some of the more poor schools... because once the proverbial "growing stuff is awesome and boy those tomatoes tasted so awesome!" seed is planted, many of those proverbial seeds might grow and take root in those kids and instill an interest/curiosity in them for this type of stuff. Not that I personally could help in that situation, since I live so far away from the city, but I suspect there would be micro-opportunities here locally that I could pursue as well.
Another interesting is the point Joshua made about latinos and native americans. Specifically, it made me really think about the native americans - why aren't more of them involved? Or is it just a demographics/percentage thing? If I look at all the big youtuber/influencers in the Permaculture world, pretty much all of them that I can think of offhand are white. But native americans were basically the original permies back here in the USA, so it seems that permaculture & living in harmony with the land would be really in line with their culture. Or maybe they are and we just don't see it because they aren't broadcasting it to the world... who knows.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:So, if a Black superstar permaculturist felt comfortable enough starting a youtube channel and went viral, it could become a fad almost overnight.