The Gifts of the Sowers

We will get what we are owed
Whether or not it is given to us
or we give it to ourselves

We have waited long enough
No, we have struggled long enough
We have been fighting long enough
We have been deserving
From birth

We do not own this earth
but for centuries our ancestors worked this land
Life lines run deep across dark palms that planted seeds
The work of my ancestors built Western economies
Their knowledge appropriated and contributions erased
But if you bury history
Eventually, the earth will unearth it
All that is hidden will cometo light
The North Star shines the brightest in darkness

Now is the time to reckon with the injustice
To undo it
To make new possibilities and center the whole truth
That means we have land and we are stewards
Our livelihoods are sacred, too

We cannot reverse what has been done
But we can repair the wounds deeply embedded
Suture the pieces of this national project
Alisha B. Wormsley said: “There are Black people in the future”

Between 1920 and 1997 Black farmers decreased by 95%
Because of exclusion, racial terror, lack of investment,
the list goes on
This country owes Black farmers a debt
For generations: clearing, picking, planting, plotting
For generations: cultivating, caring, creating, feeding
For centuries, four centuries of resistance
Passing down trauma, but also passing down healing

We were prevented from building wealth
generations of opportunities stolen
Today we hold up a mirror to expose the systems
Looking ahead to building solutions
Today, we give you the option of reparations

Could you imagine if we wanted revenge?

Instead, we seek truth and justice
Instead, we seek relief and support
Instead, we seek soil and rejuvenation
Instead, we seek reconnection with loam

We are not a landless people, we have been dispossessed
Still, we persevere with our eyes on the prize
Our freedom dreams are long overdue
bound up with ecocultural visions
Today, the gift of the sowers is realized.

Credit: Teju Adisa-Farrar

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AAI/BAF Digital Publication: Olu Butterfly Woods wrote, “the best revenge of dandeLions is living well even through concrete and weed whackers.” In the spirit of living well, and in the tradition of our forbears who weaved worlds in their stories, we raise our pens to produce.

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Tracy McCurty

Tracy McCurty

Co-Founder of the Acres of Ancestry Initiative/Black Agrarian Fund, Executive Director of the Black Belt Justice Center

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