College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences Theses and Dissertations

Full Title of Thesis or Dissertation

The marginalization project

Graduation Date


Document Type


Department/Program Conferring Degree

Interdisciplinary Studies


food deserts, colorblind racism, spatial rhetoric, rhetorical cartographies, community food gardens


The vast majority of African American residents in Chicago, Illinois reside in low food access areas particularly on the South and West Sides of the city. There are overwhelmingly high rates poverty, residential segregation, and limitations to quality of food. Through remapping abandoned spaces throughout the South and West Sides of Chicago, the community is working on implementing more community food gardens to these dying neighborhoods to bring a sense of hope, peace, and prosperity. My research focuses on the effectiveness of how community food gardens resist racially and ethnically oppressive spatial rhetorics. This study aims to bring awareness to the racial and health disparities that these struggling communities are facing. Throughout my thesis, I am arguing that it is imperative that the city adds even more community food gardens so all residents have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. In my results section, I compiled charts that track the access of total number of grocery stores, fast food businesses, community food gardens, and all types of transportation within specific neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago. Overall, my thesis brings light to these important issues regarding spatial rhetoric and how mapping of space affects people of color in a negative way. One major limitation while researching on this topic was the government’s control on community food gardens regarding laws and regulations that were put in place. In conclusion, my goal was to start to bring these concerns to the forefront and discuss possible solutions to start to have conversations about these complex health issues that have affected Black families for generations. More research is needed in the field of health equality to ultimately reduce the disparity.