North Star Spotlight: 40 Acre Coop & Mapping Prejudice

At our last session, Mapping Prejudice set the context of racist and Anti-Black housing discrimination in the Twin Cities, while Angela Dawson of 40 Acre Coop showed us an alternative: Black cooperative ownership and land reclamation.

After learning more about racial covenants and the rigged rules that barred Black communities from building wealth, we had a vibrant discussion about what culturally-rooted home ownership can in Black communities. In the context of hundreds of years of oppression, focusing on the individual alone is not enough—we need a village of folks who rely on each other and work together.

Angela Dawson, President & CEO of 40 acre coop and 4th gen Midwest Farmer, shared a vision of cooperation. Existing and taking up space as a Black person in Rural Minnesota, in the white-dominated hemp industry, is challenging because many systems are not designed for us. However, 40 Acre Coop is thriving and relishing in the power of reclaiming ancestral knowledge and Black folks’ ties to the land, farming, growing, and plants—and making those opportunities accessible to other Black farmers in Minnesota and throughout the US.

On day 1 of the Chauvin Trial, we ground ourselves in powerful projects that invest in and nourish Black life and joy, like 40 Acre Coop. Justice is transformation and radically reimagining how our world can and should look. The courts will not and have never given that to us—community is building the future we need, now and always.  #JusticeForGeorgeFloyd