Everything about Weavers Way is delicious, thoughtful and community oriented, with the singular exception of the name Henry Got Crops. When my family was discussing this year’s Urban Farm Bike Ride and the name once more emerged, I knew it was time to write.
Written in the style of Black English, the name combines cultural appropriation with the ugly imagery of the plantation. (For a fine history of Black English, see John McWhorter’s 2016 book “Talking Back, Talking Black: Truths About America’s Lingua Franca.”) To honor Black Lives Matter, I suggest a subtle name change: Henry’s Crops.
I do not know the origin of the name, and I am sure it was started with good intentions. These times demand that we pay attention to what we harvest.
— Anna Beresin
Response from Nina Berryman, Weavers Way farm manager
Anna, thank you so much for bringing this concern to our attention. As you inferred, it is true the name “Henry Got Crops” was selected with the best intentions.
Saul students always have been the central focus of the farm, and when we were first doing the planning with students and teachers at Saul, a teacher asked her class one day what they thought the name of the farm should be. One student suggested “Henry Got Crops,” everyone in the class agreed and the name stuck. I wasn’t there at the time, but the teacher informed me the students were so enthusiastic about the name that there was no going back.
I cannot vouch for the color of the skin of the student who suggested the name. I hope that sheds some light on the issue.
— Nina Berryman