What is Food Apartheid
Whenever we hear the word “apartheid” we think about South Africa. Better described as a colony than a country, South Africa, is where a small white settler population controls all of Africa’s human and material resources. This is referred to as colonialism! Apartheid is simply one form of colonialism, but colonialism nonetheless.
Food Apartheid Results from Colonialism
Food apartheid is a problem that occurs when the black community cannot access healthy black community food grown on healthy black community soil. This results in high occurrences of sickness and disease. We are more likely to suffer from obesity and even diabetes, a major cause of early death. Black people in certain zip codes of North St. Louis die 18 years earlier than whites living only a few miles away because… the white world lives off the food and other resources produced by African people, from St. Louis to S. Africa!
This is summed-up well in an article by the Burning Spear Newspaper entitled, Why African People Should Raise Their Own Food.
Food Apartheid Definitions
There is increasing broad consensus growing among organizers and theorists that food apartheid includes “the systematic destruction of black self-determination to control our food (Including land, resource theft and discrimination) as Dara Cooper, so-called food activist described.
Organizers and some intellectuals have grappled with new ways to understand the question of food control. They have used terms such as Food Apartheid, Food Desert, Food Insecurity, and so on. Some have taken what is considered to be a bolder stance and have stated, “call it what it is, food apartheid.”
The USDA uses the term “food desert.” They define it as ‘’a low income census tract where either a substantial number or share of residents has low access to a supermarket or large grocery stores.’’ These designated Low Income Low Access (LILA) tracts are more or less a euphemism for black and other colonized communities whose resources are controlled by greedy corporations, real-estate speculators, and government officials.
According to a 20212 USDA report, the following characteristics are more likely to correlate with food deserts:
- Low income
- High level of unemployment
- Poor transportation
However the effects of food apartheid manifest themselves, Europe and the U.S.’s capacity to control the food production of Africa and African people is tied to their occupation and exploitation of African communities from St. Louis to S. Africa.
Both food apartheid and food deserts are side-effects. They are side-effects of colonialism. The reality is that our food production is colonized. It is under the domination of a parasitic capitalist economy that sells food for profit, rather than for human use.
What This Means To North St. Louis?
North St. Louis is one of the places facing food apartheid in the U.S. where, in some neighborhoods, 33 percent or more of the population lives below the poverty line according to a recent report published by Washington University. Yet, over one-third of so-called “food insecure” households do not even qualify for SNAP (aka Food Stamps).
The Conditions that Follow
Many people can point to the rampant homelessness. They can point to the drug abuse and poverty. Many are quick to point out the numbers of black people who are murdered by other black people. But while the One Africa! One Nation! Farmers Market recognizes this reality, it also recognizes them as symptoms of a larger problem. That larger problem is the fact that there is an entire social system that allows one people to live at the economic expense of another people. That is the essence of colonialism – and colonial slavery – which is the “original sin” of the entire white dominated capitalist economy. This is why black people in North St. Louis do not control our own food and why we do not control any aspect of our daily lives.
It is trending now to talk about “normalizing” new behavior. But the reality is that a healthy existence can never be normalized as long as black people and black communities are occupied by a system and people who benefit from making the world hostile to black life.
The OAON! Famers Market Ending Food Apartheid
The One Africa! One Nation! Famers Market, and Black Power Movement,
as represented in the Black Power Blueprint, contributes o ending food
Blueprint can motivate people to cultivate food and produce more to
increase food accessibility and income to those vulnerable to
colonially-imposed food apartheid.
Food Apartheid Requires Action!
However the effects of food apartheid manifest themselves, Europe and the
U.S.’s capacity to control Africa and Africans’ food production is tied to their
occupation and exploitation of our Africa as well as local black communities
throughout the world. Both food apartheid and food deserts are side effects.
To join the One Africa! One Nation! Farmers Market is to join a movement
designed to help all African people take back our resources so that we can
feed, clothe, and house ourselves and also create a world where no one lives
at the expense of another.
To find out more about how you can become a vendor, a visitor, a volunteer,
a donor or other support, visit the website of the One Africa! One Nation!