Collections > UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Honors Theses Collection > Angier, The Last Frontier: Representation and Gentrification in the Alternative Food Movement
pdf

The Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm is located in predominantly Black East Durham, yet, Black residents that live in the neighborhood rarely participate in activities at the site. East Durham is also on the brink of major socioeconomic shifts; public and private developers are reinvesting in the neighborhood, planning the constructions of breweries and pizza shops that attract White middle class culture. This poses key problems for the sustainability of the Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm and its ability to fulfill the present food and gardening needs of the community. The Angier Avenue Neighborhood Farm is a unique space to question certain patterns that exist in the alternative food movement. Why is there a lack of participation among Black people in the alternative food movement? What are the assumptions that explain why Black people are resistant to agricultural work? Why do urban farms and community gardens tend to be White spaces? What is the role of urban farms and community gardens in accelerating the process of gentrification? Based on 7 months of participant observation, interviews, and food systems research, I theorize the relationship between urban farming and gentrification. I argue that equitable and representative community food projects must actively incorporate the cultures and histories of Black East Durham residents if they are to truly function as a sustainable source of fresh, culturally relevant, affordable food.