Black History Month 2024

Black History Month 2024

This February, look out for RAFI’s weekly social media posts in honor of Black History Month from an agricultural perspective. Each topic we cover in these posts will be accompanied by a collection of resources and/or further reading, which will be collected here. We hope that you will join us in the celebration of not only the rich history, but present and future of Black excellence in U.S. agriculture.

Racial Land Loss

Our collective understanding of racial justice has grown exponentially in the last few years, so let’s talk about how it has manifested at agriculture’s core: land. Systemic discrimination has led to the loss of millions of acres owned by Black farmers, which translates into billions of dollars of wealth those families have not been able to pass on to the next generation. While the loss has been great, RAFI and like-minded leaders are standing up against these injustices through services that support the viability of these and other underserved farmers. Do you know the history of the land you live on?

Below are a list of resources and further reading curated by RAFI staff.

Fair Credit Access

Access to credit is easy to take for granted – we use it to buy homes, cars, and build businesses.  Historically, Black farmers have faced barriers to accessing credit.  This means that on top of decades of Black farmer land loss, they face a much more difficult path to start over. 

For years, small business ag lenders were not required to collect demographic data for who does and does not receive credit, and this lack of data made it challenging to address discrimination. 

In partnership with movement allies, RAFI is fighting the root causes of credit discrimination. Find out more below.

Mutual Aid

“Mutual aid is when everyday people get together to meet each other’s needs, with the shared understanding that the systems we live in are not meeting our needs and that we can meet them together, right now, without having to pressure power structures to do the right thing. Mutual aid is an idea and practice that is based on the principles of direct action, cooperation, mutual understanding, and solidarity. Mutual aid is not charity, but the building and continuing of new social relations where people give what they can and get what they need, outside of unjust systems of power.” Joel Izlar, University of Georgia

“Indigenous and tribal societies across the world have been working among themselves and with neighboring communities on a cooperative and collaborative basis for centuries before documentation. The principles of cooperation and reciprocity on which most Indigenous economies are based are also reflected in the grounding characteristics of co-ops today.” HEAL

Food, Land & Sacred Stories - RAFI's 2024 Come to the Table ConferenceRegister Now!