Publication Date

April 2017


Lois Brown, Anthony Hatch


African American Studies


English (United States)


I explore the food environments in two historically black housing projects in Baltimore city: Cherry Hill and McCulloh Homes. First, I examine the historical battle for food justice among low-­income, black people and their long efforts toward food sovereignty. Then, I spent a day in each of these two neighborhoods and analyzed the food environments. I went into the stores, took pictures, took notes of prices, and took notes of the type, quality, and quantity of foods sold. Next, I present my Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping results to support the findings of my field study. Afterwards, I discuss how low-­--income, black people are disproportionately affected by racial segregation, by living with a lack of supermarkets in their neighborhoods, creating food deserts. Finally, I review current efforts being made to resist food insecurity and how those efforts benefit black communities. I argue that measuring food insecurity at the household unit is insufficient to fully understand how hunger is manifesting in these communities that are often, and have been historically, neglected. Racism does not act on the unit of the household, but it does act on communities, neighborhoods, and groups of people. There needs to be a different unit for measuring food insecurity. Moreover, there needs to be a better push towards food justice. The only way to truly decrease food insecurity is to give people rights to control their own food systems. That is the only way to achieve food justice.

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