I just started reading Farming While Black by Leah Penniman

Full Disclosure: I have yellow skin undertones and greenish blue veins you can see in my wrists; I have almond shaped eyes and naturally coily hair. I write from a place of learning how to decentralize my own light skin privilege, pretty privilege (completely subjective to the features white society deemed valuable among black women) and I’d argue respectability/class privilege. I’m visiting the author as part of the BIPOC Immersion Program at Soul Fire Farm next month. So I’m writing as someone who wants the same things as the author of the text, and the presumably the reader of this post.

Resume activity: What if there was a way to create a model for learning and healing Black female/femme bodies and that became like a soil amendment for all farms? And all site’s where Black women and femmes access healing, including cooking, sound healing and visual art?

Leah Penniman mentions in her book, Farming While Black, that she was “infected with the ‘frontier mentality’...and imagined that the only course of action was to start a new project entirely from scratch.” p16

I remember being this way in Philly. What exactly is the frontier mentality? According to WordReference.com, “frontier mentality is a mind set that views humans as superior above all other forms of life, rather than as an integral part of nature and sees the world as an unlimited supply of resources for human use regardless of the impacts on other species.”

It’s the exact opposite of permaculture. It’s dominating a space rather than becoming a part of it. In Philly, I came to make a name for myself, not knowing that I was enacting a frontier mentality.

Who are the black farmers in Baltimore? What if the CoFED project is a demo of what can be implemented on Black farms in Baltimore? What if there’s a way to then build healing models for other access sites, such as audio and visual art?

A question worth asking is what are Black women learning and what are we healing from?

What case is there to be made for centering black women and queer femme healing at these access sites? I would argue it’s because we are the furthest from the benefits of capitalism, and have the most to gain in liberation efforts.

Colonialism begets capitalism begets gender stratification. Questions to ask black farms, particularly run by black men:

  • How are you centering black women and queer folks? They are displaced psychologically and from land in ways that black men are not…

I meet with Chippie this Friday at The Plantation. I want to know what on earth was a Jamaican man thinking settling in Baltimore and calling his farm The Plantation? Doesn’t he know the history of black people in Baltimore? Afro-southern history gives different meaning to the phrase. Further, Afro-Southerners, my people, have a different relationship to land that other people of the diaspora. How will he address that? Because if not for specificity of ancestry there is no way we can move collectively. We must honor that which is specifically Afro-Carolinian, Afro-Georgian, and Afro...I don’t know. But that’s the point? We have to honor that before we can build together.

Word Bank:


Soul craft


Potlucks--what’s the history?