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First Ever Black Earth Day in Tacoma

Part of the series Communities of Color ‘Front and Centered’ this Earth Day

On April 23rd, 2016 Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG) will host its first ever Black Earth Day event at Peace Community Center in Tacoma, WA. Black Earth Day is a unique family event that will run carnival style with many different booths offering experiences ranging from the garden, to the dinner table, to the spirit of Blackness. The free event runs from 10am-2pm and is a welcoming space for families and anyone who loves and cherishes Black People.  

Black Earth Day is an event that I’ve wanted to hold for several years now. Originally, I was thinking about a “HUG the Earth Day”. As I really honed in on what I wanted the event to accomplish it became clear that I wanted a space that gives Black People an opportunity to come together with each other in honor of our mama earth and in celebration of Blackness.  We are people of the Earth, yet for many reasons, including the historical trauma of American chattel slavery, many of us have wounded relationships with the Earth.  This wound impacts how we live and grow as people.  Black Earth Day is one of several ways that we are working to organize in the neighborhood towards health, well-being, and freedom.

Many in our community are hungry to reconnect to our ancestral ways of living with the Earth, while living in today’s modern world. This summer we will begin Black Mycelium Food School. Many of the resources to regain this knowledge do not come from our communities and often reenact trauma when we participate in them. We have worked to build a Food School coming from Black People to Black People. To learn more or sign up for the first cohort, contact me (Dean) at email [email protected].

Dean Jackson is the Executive Director of Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG)