The history of agriculture in the United States is largely a history of racial exploitation. From the slavery that formed the rural economy of the South to the mistreatment of migrant farm workers that continues to this day, our food has too often been made possible by someone else’s suffering. And that someone else tends not to be white….The great tragedy for many African Americans…is that in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food….It’s no coincidence that the epidemic of diet-related illnesses now sweeping the country—obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes—are harming blacks the most….America’s current agricultural system was hardly created by free market forces. Between 1995 and 2010, American farmers received about $262 billion in federal subsidies. And the wealthiest 10 percent of farmers received 74 percent of those subsidies. Almost two-thirds of American farmers didn’t receive any subsidies at all….One in two African Americans born in the year 2000 is expected to develop type II diabetes. Four out of every ten African American men and women over the age of twenty have high blood pressure….The farmer became less important than the food scientist, the distributor, the marketer, and the corporation. In 1974, farmers took home 32 cents of every dollar spent on food in the United States. Today, they get only 16 cents.
The talented and beautiful Tracy Oliver is an actress and writer. Tracy along with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris wrote the screenplay for Barbershop 3. She also wrote episodes for the ABC series The Neighbors. And she produced, wrote for, and acted in the popular web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.