Meet Kamau Bell!
The Young Black Farmer That Still Exists
In laymen terms, “I want to see us healthy.” Health is the key for the liberation of Black people and all people. The effects that blacks suffer from due to bad eating habits are more detrimental than other races. I’m also a father, a future husband, and an agriculture science teacher in Durham, NC, (on paper biotechnology). I attended North Carolina A&T where I got my undergrad in animal science, and my Masters in Agricultural Sciences. I originally wanted to be a Veterinarian, but it hit me that I wouldn’t be servicing my people as a vet, so I changed my major that day.
What made you become interested in farming?
Both of my parents taught me about sustainability, and I eventually realized food was the key to sustainment. Every nation is built around an established food source. Here in America, Blacks don’t have that. When you look at our everyday problems, it all falls back to a lack of food. Education, divorce, crime, diseases, all point back to a lack of food source.
Elijah Muhammad stressed going back to the farm, and Black people being able to be self-sufficient. I’m a big fan of Booker T as well. He said, “You drop your buckets where you lay”. After you build a home, you still have to eat. If you know how to farm, you can grow your own food. We really have lost the concept of this. The days of the old Black farmers have passed; all of them have either died or given up.
Why do you believe farming is important?
Because it’s the base of life. It’s not like other commodities; you need food daily. If you can control your food sources, you can control your future. People really don’t understand that crime is directly correlated with low food production.
What initiatives did you create to increase the number of farmers in the field?
The first initiative that we have is Sankofa Farms, where we teach at risk youth the teamwork and discipline needed to run a farm. I have a business partner that helps me a lot. The students have been with me to setup bank accounts and we have also been to Bayer Foods and Fidelity Investments to see how food is being massed produced.
It’s amazing to me, the kids are more interested in the field than I expected and they are able to pick up on it quicker as well.
What type of products do you currently sell and how can we purchase them? Also, how can we learn more about your farm and support your movement?
I currently have a dehydrated fruit business. In the Fall, I will be looking to produce kale, spinach, radishes, collard greens, and carrots. Our Kickstarter campaign surpassed its goal of $7,000 but we will be implementing more programs in the future and would appreciate your support.
This interview is part of a larger project submitted by Justin Sims.