208 pp., 5.5 x 8.5, 11 halftones
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4370-0
Published: November 2018
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4369-4
Published: January 2019
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-6389-0
Published: February 2021
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Awards & distinctions
2019 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Book Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems, Division on Racial and Ethnic Minorities
2020 Association for the Study of Food and Society First Book Award
Freedom Farmers expands the historical narrative of the black freedom struggle to embrace the work, roles, and contributions of southern black farmers and the organizations they formed. Whereas existing scholarship generally views agriculture as a site of oppression and exploitation of black people, this book reveals agriculture as a site of resistance and provides a historical foundation that adds meaning and context to current conversations around the resurgence of food justice/sovereignty movements in urban spaces like Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, and New Orleans.
About the Author
Monica M. White is assistant professor of environmental justice at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
For more information about Monica M. White, visit the Author Page.
“Writing consciously with an eye on the uses of the past for understanding the present and influencing the future, White recovers the lost stories of black activists who worked to ensure access to adequate and nutritious food for low-income communities, promoted alternatives to capitalist economic exploitation, and demanded a voice in the decisions affecting their lives. Scholars of African American history, agricultural history, and urban history will find much value in this book.”--Journal of Southern History
“Freedom Farmers: Agricultural Resistance and the Black Freedom Movement stands literally as a landmark, ushering in a new era of community-based scholarship with and for agrarian justice. From here on out, scholars, activists, practitioners have a lodestar from which to research, practice, and advocate for food, farm, and racial justice: Dr. White’s framework of ‘collective agency and community resilience’ (CACR).”--Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
“This book will fill the gaps in your knowledge of Black US agricultural history, with a mix of narrative and evaluation. . . . Freedom Farmers provides an uplifting perspective, showing agriculture was not only a site of oppression and exploitation of Black people, but also one of proactive political resistance and cooperative effort.”--Virginia Association for Biological Farming
"Meticulously researched, trenchantly analyzed, and engagingly written, this book brings to life the culture, the theorists, the scientists, the farmers, and the organizers that have kept agriculture at the center of African American emancipation, civil rights, and present-day movements for human rights and self-determination. From a rising activist-scholar, a visionary book of remembrance and hope."--Eric Holt-Giménez, executive director of Food First
"A refreshing and potentially paradigm-shifting study, combining narrative and an interdisciplinary methodology that draws on archival research and ethnography. It moves the African American agrarian experience into the twentieth century, reconceptualizing it, not just as an experience of oppression, but as a strategic approach to black liberation."--Sundiata Cha-Jua, University of Illinois
“Freedom Farmers is an incredible love letter helping Black people return to and reclaim our true agrarian, radical, collective selves. Through this important book, Dr. White brilliantly disrupts the disempowering narrative that Black communities have a painful relationship with farming and land. While Black people have suffered tremendously via exploited labor and the violence of slavery in this country, that is not the summation of our history with land. Dr. White documents important historical lessons for us and shows us what we’ve known and at times forgotten--that the land both heals and frees us. This book is an urgent reminder and an absolute must read for all of us.”--Dara Cooper, National Black Food and Justice Alliance
Multimedia & Links
- White talks with students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Culture, History, and Environment in this podcast episode of their digital magazine, Edge Effects. (7/16/2019, running time 37:29)