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This living, breathing guide is intended to serve largely Black curious minds who are seeking more perspectives on Black food movement organizing, work, and their related terms. The importance of shared language cannot be overstated, and we intend to make the terms we commonly use widely accessible. Featured are the interpretations of National Black Food & Justice Alliance (NBFJA) staff members, membership, and the trusted leading voices in Black food movement work in the United States. 

This guide is intended to be continuously updated and challenged, and we welcome you to note the questions (and criticisms) that arise as you move through. We invite you to pace yourself, make notes, and pause to explore additional links as needed. 

For the best user experience, please access this guide on a computer or tablet, set in full-width or full-screen modes.

For a written glossary of standardized food movement terms and definitions, click here:  NBFJA Glossary of Terms

To view a complete list of NBFJA's membership, click here.

An additional bank of literature and resources from the Alliance can be found here (see "Readings," "Films/Videos," "Organizations," and "Webinars")


In 1933, Dr. Carter G. Woodson published his most celebrated text, "The Mis-Education of the Negro," exploring the American education system's pivotal role in erasing and replacing the history and culture of Black communities. In doing so, Black people are purposefully misinformed about their contributions to this country, our rich legacy of freedom fighting and organizing, and our collective potential for liberation.

NBFJA members explore Mis-Education in agricultural and food justice contexts, and discuss the importance of reclaiming our history.

Click right to proceed. 

"Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history."


While many international historical contexts and previous Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) organizing movements inspire the work of the Alliance, two critical contexts are outlined here: The Jackson-Kush Plan (J-K Plan) organized by Cooperation Jackson, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM), and the provisional government of the Republic of New Afrika (RNA), and Liberated Zones, which precedes but is primarily based on the words of Baba Ed Whitfield in his visionary 2018 article, "What must we do to be free? On the building of Liberated Zones."

NBFJA staff and members share insights on how these critical historical contexts, their visions and aspirations, and their tactics inform the work of the Alliance and food movement work.


Many of you may have heard the terms "food justice" and "food sovereignty" along with "food desert" and "food apartheid." But what distinguishes them? Which terms resonate most with Alliance members and staff?

Check out the interactive features below to chat with NBFJA members and leaders.


By this point in the guide, you may have heard repeated language referencing "self-determination" or "self-determining food economies." Black self-determination is a political concept describing a people or nation's ability to collectively build and have power over themselves, independently develop cultural, political, and economic systems, and in this context, choose how to develop and maintain their food systems, outside of the dominant white supremacist and capitalistic systems. Instead of inserting ourselves into and attempting to reform the existing problematic power structures, power is built within our own communities.

In building towards self-determination for Black folks, the National Black Food & Justice Alliance has two main pillars of work: Self-Determining Food Economies (SDFE) and Black Land and Power (BLP). 

So, what do these terms mean and what is their significance in this work? Watch the videos below to hear NBFJA members' and staff's insights.

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