Pictured above is the Monacan Indian Nation, an Indigenous people from the greater Piedmont and Blue
Ridge Mountains. Some of their earliest settlements date to 1000 A.D. At the time of colonization, the tribe
numbered more than 10,000 people. They grew the “Three Sisters” crops, companion planting beans, corn, and squash. Following colonization, the Monacan Indian Nation’s autonomy was reduced to presiding over by Bear Mountain. Slowly, their food customs and other aspects of their culture were diminished as a result of forced assimilation. Today, the Monacans need help saving the remains of their historic capitol, Rassawek, located at the confluence of the Rivanna and James rivers, from development.
African food systems are another example of food practices inextricably rooted in collectivist agrarian farming, a practice that carried on to newly emancipated African Americans during the Reconstruction Era. e.g., in 1910, near Georgetown, South Carolina, 160 African American families acquired a former plantation and owned the land in a joint stock company. African agrarian communities commonly used this form of solidarity economics and collective land ownership. African Americans also rejected European standards of individual property rights and inter-generational wealth transfer by reestablishing the model African village in the United States through the creation of collectively owned family land.
Despite the collectivist agrarian nature of Indigenous peoples and African Americans, the federal government precipitated the degradation of this collectivism by abandoning the imperative of large-scale land redistribution efforts needed to support Indigenous peoples whose land was stolen, as well as the 4 million newly emancipated Africans whose bodies and agrarian expertise supplied unprecedented wealth to the nation. Instead, the following acts were passed:
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