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(Re)Visiting the Corner Store: Black Youth, Gentrification, and Food Sovereignty

  • Naya JonesEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Health food access continues to be a focus of research, policy, and activism on a global scale. In the USA, healthy corner store initiatives seek to improve food access and health outcomes, with particular attention to urban, low-income neighborhoods where Black and Latinx populations reside. However, a nutritional perspective alone deflects attention from changing contexts and from the meaning of stores for residents. As cities gentrify, who will these renovated corner stores serve? Do they abet or stem displacement? How do locals “make sense” of themselves and their relationships through corner stores? These questions urge attention to corner (or convenience) retailers from a critical and relational perspective, one that addresses power dynamics such as race and racism as well as the role relationships may play. In this chapter, I visit three corner stores with African-American and Afro-Latinx youth in their gentrifying neighborhood. Their experiences in Austin, Texas illustrate demographic shifts and how corner stores can be sites of Black relationship- and self-making. I draw on Black geographies scholarship and the food sovereignty movement to underscore how relationships have already transformed local marketplaces. Throughout, I consider possibilities for research and practice that reimagine corner stores beyond food access.

Keywords

Corner stores Convenience stores Black youth Food sovereignty Black geographies African-American Afro-Latino Food deserts Race and racism Gentrification 

Further Reading

  1. Grier, S., & Perry, V. (2018). Dog parks and coffeeshops: Faux diversity and consumption in gentrifying neighborhoods. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 37(1), 23–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Holt-Gimenez, E., & Harper, B. (2016). Backgrounder: Dismantling racism in the food system, 1: Winter-Spring (Report for Food First: Institute for Food Development and Policy). www.foodfirst.org/publication/backgrounder-dismantling-racism-in-the-food-system/.
  3. Jones, N. (2018). “It tastes like heaven”: Critical and embodied food pedagogy with Black youth in the Anthropocene. Policy Futures in Education.Google Scholar
  4. La Vía Campesina: International Peasants Movement (LVC). https://viacampesina.org/en/.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Medical College of WisconsinWauwatosaUSA

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