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Radical Agriculture: Collective Self-Sufficiency in Post-Industrial Detroit

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Abstract:

In 1986, longtime Detroit activist James Boggs announced at a political meeting in Oakland that to rebuild Detroit, the community, particularly the Black community, needed to create its own economies such that they did not need to rely on outside wage labor for their survival. Boggs had long been politically active in the Black left—he worked for years with C.L.R. James to organize the Johnson-Forest Tendency—and his vision for Detroit solidified a growing radical vision for urban economies which was both multiracial and explicitly anti-capitalist. Boggs’ organization, The National Organization for an American Revolution, advocated for collective self-sufficiency, including focusing on communities growing their own food, in response to Detroit’s economic crisis and increasingly absent or precarious wage labor jobs.

Today, Detroit is engaged in a struggle over agriculture: a struggle between Mayor Dave Bing’s proposal that the city demolish entire neighborhoods for conversion to commercial agriculture, and a grassroots vision of collective urban farming in existing neighborhoods. Notably, both parties are calling for a Detroit that is more self-sufficient, where food production for the city takes place largely within the city. This conflict should be seen within the historical context of Black struggles for autonomy in Detroit. With increasing poverty, particularly in communities of color, Detroit offers an alternate vision of localized food systems in a majority Black city, either to create jobs (Mayor Bing) or to develop Black entrepreneurship and collective self-sufficiency.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435269_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Quizar, Jessi. "Radical Agriculture: Collective Self-Sufficiency in Post-Industrial Detroit" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435269_index.html>

APA Citation:

Quizar, J. , 2010-09-29 "Radical Agriculture: Collective Self-Sufficiency in Post-Industrial Detroit" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435269_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In 1986, longtime Detroit activist James Boggs announced at a political meeting in Oakland that to rebuild Detroit, the community, particularly the Black community, needed to create its own economies such that they did not need to rely on outside wage labor for their survival. Boggs had long been politically active in the Black left—he worked for years with C.L.R. James to organize the Johnson-Forest Tendency—and his vision for Detroit solidified a growing radical vision for urban economies which was both multiracial and explicitly anti-capitalist. Boggs’ organization, The National Organization for an American Revolution, advocated for collective self-sufficiency, including focusing on communities growing their own food, in response to Detroit’s economic crisis and increasingly absent or precarious wage labor jobs.

Today, Detroit is engaged in a struggle over agriculture: a struggle between Mayor Dave Bing’s proposal that the city demolish entire neighborhoods for conversion to commercial agriculture, and a grassroots vision of collective urban farming in existing neighborhoods. Notably, both parties are calling for a Detroit that is more self-sufficient, where food production for the city takes place largely within the city. This conflict should be seen within the historical context of Black struggles for autonomy in Detroit. With increasing poverty, particularly in communities of color, Detroit offers an alternate vision of localized food systems in a majority Black city, either to create jobs (Mayor Bing) or to develop Black entrepreneurship and collective self-sufficiency.


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