Honor Your Root: a manifesto for sacred black sustainability

Everywhere there is coffee there must also be peace. May your house lack no Coffee, nor ‎Peace.

- Pre Colonial Afaan Oromo Blessing



Though we never identified with the traditional consumer profile for “sustainable” brands, the journey to Honor Our Root in cxffee has led us to partner with the planets oldest coffee farming communities, practicing indigenous organic methods, and connect them through an all black supply chain to communities being quickly gentrified through environmental racism and hyper capitalism, inadvertently addressing economic and environmental sustainability challenges.


Cxffeeblack actively supports showcasing our commitment to a comprehensive and authentic "Honor Your Root '' approach, as we reconnect people with the indigenous practices and ideologies that have been subconsciously practiced by people of the Root for centuries, even before the language of sustainability existed. We believe the fight to sustain the planet should be led by those whose very displacement fueled the need for sustainability in the first place. Many farmers are penalized for not having organic certification despite the fact that at cxffee’s inception, the product, itself, is found in nature. Many in the diaspora abroad are judged for having an unsophisticated palate and lack of involvement in cxffee’s modern specialized refinement. This lack of sustainable practice in cxffee and society is not the result of the indigenous or their descendants, but a result of the greed of those who forced its production.

We all descend from the same stock, and our humanity is inevitably tied together and rooted in shoots of inescapable mutuality. If we do not Honor Our Root, we may find that in our hour of deepest need, we may not have the fruit to return to. If we reclaim blackness, not as the lack of color, but the presence of all of them, what would it truly signify if we made a communal commitment to drink our CxffeeBlack?

What if we imagine a world where the stewards of cxffee knowledge were those who preserved it at its Root, rather than those who stole it for its fruit? As we learned from the sacred sustainable practices of the Gadaa system of the Oromo people in Ethiopia,  we have experienced a mentality shift about what consuming cxffee requires of us. The Honor Your Root campaign is an opportunity for us to take the paradigm shift that we have experienced at the feet of our elders at the Root, to the larger cxffee-consuming community. What if the world gained cxffee from the hands of the original stewards, rather than those who enslaved their labor? What new ideas, concepts, varietals, sciences, or culinary curiosities could come from such a bloodline? What new discoveries could come from truly Honoring Our Root?

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