Meet Ron Finley, a man who will not sit still and watch a problem take root. Having grown up in the South Central Los Angeles food prison, Ron is familiar with the area’s lack of fresh produce. He knew what it’s like to drive 45 minutes just to get a fresh tomato.
In 2010, he set out to fix the problem. Outside his front door, that is. Ron planted vegetables in the curbside dirt strip next to his home. And quietly, carefully, tenderly started a revolution. I wanted a carrot without toxic ingredients I didn’t know how to spell, says Ron.
His was an exceptionally creative, cost-effective and simple solution; however, it was also an act of spirited rebellion that led to a run-in with the authorities.
The City of Los Angeles owns the “parkways” the neglected dirt areas next to roads where Ron was planting. He was cited for gardening without a permit. This slap on the wrist did little to dissuade his green thumb. So Ron fought back. Hard. He started a petition with fellow green activists, demanding the right to garden and grow food in his neighborhood and then, the city backed off.
This caught the eyes of creative leaders and media voices that lauded his courageous act of ebullient defiance. Ron has continued to share his story and vision with the world, giving a TED talk and planning many exciting ways to continue his involvement in mitigating Los Angeles food prisons.
This is a great video. It’s by a pair of 11 year old 6th graders from Milwaukee Excellence Charter school. They borrowed a beat from Tee Grizley’s song,First Day Out. The two young girls are students of teacher Terrance Sims. He uses music to connect better with his students. “I wrote this song to get kids excited for the new school year and it picked up steam and turned into a full video,” Terrance explained. “It was a great experience as it kicked off our performing arts club.” I personally think young black children need more rap songs like this. They need more positive lyrics that express black pride and to inspire them to achieve greatness. Too much of rap music today is filled with sex,violence and anti-blackness. I salute these young black children! They are already ahead of the game. This is black genius. This is great to see! We more hip hop culture to represent like this.