A graduate of The Piney Woods School, a historically black boarding school, Candace Clark is a Tuskegee University Alumna from Chicago, IL; with a BS in Agricultural Business with a focus on sustainability and a certificate in International Relations, as well as a former USDA 1890 Scholar. Her experiences abroad as an African American woman cultivated her internal obligation to serve her community and those like it abroad.
Aware of racial injustices, she views them- and their potential solutions- from a political, agroecological lens. She hopes to empower developing communities by learning and being a medium for sustainable agricultural techniques to small and middle farmers, internationally. Although the role of agriculture is not widely embraced, she seeks to reconnect Agriculture to her generation, and her culture to the world, through agriculture and sustainable practices. She is currently enrolled at American University’s School of International Service pursuing her MA’s in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development.
I want to be more than a farmer. I am what I call a “farm plug": a sustainable agricultural educator and intersectional advocate that farms. Farming is a dying industry and the black farmer is facing an even more dire crisis. Many people equate agriculture with slavery- a traumatic scar that causes many young African Americans to be turned off by it. However, land ownership and cultivation has been historically used as a tool for disenfranchisement, when it truly offers a path to liberation and equity. Through agriculture, economic independence and empowerment, systemically disadvantaged and developing communities can be accounted for. The intersectional technique will allow for more adequate identification of unique problems for better strategies and local, sustainable solutions. I am an alchemist, driven by my love of connecting with people and action-oriented problem solving. I am intrigued by the creation of resilient and beloved communities and I enjoy engaging with people using the possibilities and heterogeneity of the world of food and natural resources.
The work to change society begins with myself, my community and the land which supports our existence. Black agrarianism has been the most precious and healing form of resistance and I cannot let the fire die out. I want to educate more youth about the importance of agriculture, especially in urban areas. Using my experiences, I hope to break down barriers by helping to develop and increase the capacity of my neighbors while simultaneously encouraging agricultural representation and intersectional justice. I am excited to pass on tools for people to “cast their buckets down where they are,” as Booker T. Washington once said, in their communities, through holistic, sustainable agriculture. Kandeaux’s Couch is a documentation of my journey of “Connecting Ag and the Culture:” using an intersectional approach to agriculture for the decolonization of minds and as a tool that allows connection between people to the earth and each other, whilst exploring better versions of ourselves.