by Chinasa Porter
As we drove across the border into Luxembourg city, on our way to visit Marko, an urban farmer and co founder of Terra, an intense feeling of gratitude and responsibility washed over me. We had the world in the palms of our hands. I felt unstoppable. We were given a duty to learn and connect with those shifting towards a fair sustainable low carbon economy. It was so liberating having the opportunity to experience Terra, the community supported agroecological centre in Luxembourg City that continues to successfully operate even with opposition from extractive industries in the surrounding areas. As soon as we arrived he gave us a tour of the land, perfectly perched on a foggy hilltop hovering over the city. The tour included rows and rows of beds full of vegetables and fruits, a dripline irrigation system that feeds off solar energy, an interesting compost tea system and lots of ducks!!!
I felt unstoppable. We were given a duty to learn and connect with those shifting towards a fair sustainable low carbon economy.
I kept thinking, woah! these are all great examples of some of the sustainable practices WE can implement into our plans to start an urban garden/farm in our community, maybe even one that employs Black youth and teaches them how to build backyard gardens so everyone gets fed! These are some of the ideas that must be brought to the table if we are going to commit ourselves to Black liberation. “Just Transition” starts with us, Black and Brown youth traveling past the borders that separate us from the rest of the world and absorbing the information necessary to not only bring back to our hoods/communities but to ensure a long term goal that promises a world/planet where our children and other living organisms can coexist in a clean sustainable ecosystem. Black youth activists are on the rise, reclaiming our power and demanding that we have a seat at the table, one that will dictate the course of our collective struggle.
When I think about my Black comrades traveling to Palestine to connect and build solidarity with Palestinian youth and those in South Africa during the #RhodesMustFall movement, fighting to dismantle a white supremacist capitalist patriarchal system upheld by the University, I feel a strong sense of Black power that gives me hope for the future. Black power meaning the collective Spirit of Black folk fighting and celebrating and growing by any means necessary. The connections and experiences I gained participating in the COP reaffirmed my growing understanding of the interconnectedness that exists between the struggle of people of color and climate change. Everything is intertwined, therefore one cannot fight for the liberation of Black folks without understanding the intersections between environmental degradation and the system that creates climate change and the racial and social injustices it perpetuates. My experience at COP and especially building community with my Gulf South Rising family affirmed my purpose and duty as a human on this Earth, to fight against short term production and long term unsustainability and search and create new ways to live in accordance to the natural flow of the planet. The struggle to save the planet, and specifically our Black communities affected by climate change here in America, is the unfinished business of Black people being free. In the words of Mama Assata Shakur, words that will continue to echo the streets, courtrooms and all other public and private spaces where Black people are resisting the powers that oppress us and reclaiming the love that we so rightfully deserve. “It is our duty to fight for our freedom, it is our duty to win, we must love and support one another, we have nothing to lose but our chains.”