“Human beings can be a blessing to the earth, and not neutral or negative.” Leah Penniman
JUNETEENTH, also known as FREEDOM DAY, commemorates the day (June 19,1865) which marked the effective end of slavery in the US, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Commonly seen as a holiday for African Americans to celebrate their history and heritage, activists are pushing Congress to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. They would like to see the holiday embraced by all citizens as a way to learn about and acknowledge the deeper history of over 250 years of slavery, the trauma it caused, the wealth it generated, the divisions, wounds and ramifications that are still echoing today, so that we can heal and move forward.
Leah Penniman is a farmer working to heal these wounds. The commitment of her farm, Soul Fire Farm, is to end racism and injustice in our food system. Soul Fire Farm uses the earth itself as a Great Healer, growing healthy food and delivering it to families who otherwise wouldn’t have access.
The farm also holds programs that invite black and brown people back to the land to see the land not as a symbol of slavery and oppression, but to dig deeper into the history of their ancestors who farmed sustainably for thousands of years in their homeland. Soul Fire Farm intertwines growing food with growing community, history lessons with healing, and spirituality and integrity with a sense of fun and optimism.
Check out Leah’s farm and the work she does.
One way to contribute towards the healing of the wounds of slavery is to educate yourself about its history so that you can have a deeper understanding of the present situation.