“Coils, Garden Guerrillas, and Purple Space Suits” : Recentering Black Stories and Knowledge Through Community Gardening for the Future of Humanity
Permelia, Nionni Kendel
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The author uses essays, short stories, and poetry to reflect on food justice, black communities, and the future. Section one is anchored to the science fiction essay: “Community Gardens meet ZORA zr7.” The poems and short story of section two are anchored to the essay: “Can I protest with my gardening gloves on?” The third essay, “Plants, Spaceships and Black Girl Power,” is inspired by the author’s experience working with the Zoo City Farm and Food Network. In the introduction, the author writes “While reading this project, I want readers to know a couple of things. Without the teachings, support, discussions, and literature it would not have been possible. Although I have been wanting to come up with a way to talk about these issues since my science fiction/dead and undead class junior year of high school, I think that without the knowledge I was able to gather at K, I wouldn’t know as much as I do now. But the best part about this experience of working in this project and being able to write about these passions is that the learning is never over. Although this project is finished for now, the knowledge of food systems, environmental racism, black love, and anti-colonialism dialogue is never finished. We are learning new ways of saving this planet every day. Even if that means we must eventually scour space to find one like it. But we must love Earth while we are here. I know that I imagine that I will be able to see people go on space adventures and find new things in new galaxies. However, the likelihood is that me and a lot of other people will not have the money or the resources to actually be a part of going to infinity and beyond. So, this is our home. As well as the home of our ancestors. So, we must take care of it. Whether it’s by learning new ways to take care of the soil without stripping it of its important nutrients. Or whether it’s fighting for a decrease in deforestation projects. We have to find new ways to connect with the land. We must get back to looking at ourselves as kin to the sea mammals. To speaking to plants as if they were our sisters. If I could ask you to take anything away from this project, it would be to know that we can change Earth. Small steps increase into life changing movements. We can do this. We can save ourselves from the grips of a past of colonialism and capitalism. We can save ourselves from a past of oppression and slavery. One community garden at a time.”
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