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This Thanksgiving, Memphis’ Black Chickasaws will revel in sowing and surviving.

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This Thanksgiving season, at Wolf River near the North Memphis community of Douglass, Andre Matthews, chief of the Oka Nashoba Chickasaw Nation, and other tribe members will be celebrating the Native American penchant for farming.

And survival.

Survival – because COVID-19 killed eight of the 18 farmers who supply produce to the Family Farmers Cooperative – a co-op that the Oka Nashoba jointly operates.

“There’s Charlie Davis with his garden,” Matthews said, pointing to a picture of a smiling man flanked by a field of sprouting greens, which was spread out among other photos and memorabilia beneath a greenhouse tent off Warford Street.

“He was growing eggplants…he passed away. We lost several farmers to COVID, but what we have to continue to do is to bring in more growers.”



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