Hello all! I’m Isis, a senior at IU, doing research in the Critical Food Studies lab. As a new lab attendant, I've been honored to work alongside incredible mentors and students who have introduced me to critical issues involving the food system, especially in Southern Indiana. As Black History Month comes to an end, I want to share about a journal article I am helping to write. The “White Supremacy at the Bloomington Community Farmers Market” piece, coauthored by Dr. Angela Babb and Megan Betz, details issues pertaining to the local food and agriculture system in Southern Indiana, as well as the residents of Bloomington.
The goal of our article is to discuss the presence of white supremacy within the local food system, beyond the specific and significant issues that arose with the Bloomington Farmers Market in 2018. The appearance of white supremacy is part of a larger, painful history of systemic racism, which has colonized the food system and facilitated even greater food insecurity. The introduction of hate groups, inspired by white supmacist beliefs, has left marginalized residents of Bloomington feeling unsafe.
One of the topics we also plan to elaborate on within the paper includes nostalgia surrounding farmers markets and local food. Nostalgia in the food system continues generational knowledge, at times nostalgia removes historical relevance. Agriculture, and the food system within the United States, historically has been shaped by Indigenous and Black communities. After colonization, food began to be taken over by Europeans, who did not respect the land. Now, many of those who are leading farmers are typically descendants of those colonizers and settlers, taking away space and land opportunity from BlPOC (Black, Indeginous, People of Color).
Other topics in the paper include public safety regarding the presence of hate groups affiliated with white supremacy, first amendment protections, and attention to community hate groups. Overall, the research for the article has involved readings to understand white supremacy in Southern Indiana, as well as coding content for Nvivo and retaining useful information for dismantling white supremacy in the local food system.
Looking to find ways to unsubscribe from and dismantle white supremacy? Thanks to diligent community members such as Dr. Angela Babb, farmers markets with the purpose of equality and accessibility have created a safe space for marginalized community members to buy local food. Examples of these markets in the community include the Peoples Market and the Plant Truck.