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Articles by Claire Stanford

Claire lives in Minneapolis, where she is a student in the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Minnesota. She's also pursuing a graduate minor in Sustainable Agricultural Systems. In addition to writing fiction, she also blogs about food at Food Junta. Follow her on Twitter.

Featured Article

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

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