Food Studies features the voices of volunteer student bloggers from a variety of different food- and agriculture-related programs at universities around the world. You can explore the full series here.
A sign at the Edible Schoolyard“This is some slavery shit.”
It was a sunny August morning, and we were hoeing, loosening up the dirt in an empty bed so that we could plant lettuce seedlings. I was volunteering in a summer school garden class at a high school in St. Paul, and we were nearing the end of the session.
I was helping one student wrestle with some weeds, when I heard another student say it. “This is some slavery shit.” I looked up. The student who said it — an African-American male around 18 years old — did not seem particularly distressed or angry; he was smiling and his voice had a joking tone. Still, his words were serious. A group of his friends nodded and laughed.
Before I could do anything, one of the nearby garden teachers jumped in, engaging the student in a one-on-one conversation. Later, she told me that she thought the conversation had gone fine, but she hadn’t been sure what to say, and ... Read more