Reporter Zaida: Ms. Joellen Baker is a mother from Brooklyn, New York—with family originally from Jamaica, West Indies. When she was a young girl she came to Whole P.I.E. because her parents were activists. Her dad painted houses and spoke to crowds about the need for black liberation. Her mother baked meat pies, dumplings and sold jerk chicken and corn porridge like back home out of a little store she set up. Ms. Baker helped her mama in the shop every day and learned from a very young child how to make Jamaican specialties and also all types of pies, cookies, cakes. When she finished school, Ms. Joellen started her own bakery called Whole Pies. Here in her own words is a little about who she is and why she decided to march today.
It is my mission to keep the community
well fed and happy; healthy so
they are lacking nothing of what they need
both to get along (adequate food, water, shelter)
and in being satisfied, comforted with something
rich in feeling and filled with joy,
like the pies, cakes, and breads I make daily.
I bake each one with a blessing of goodness.
Every day I carry the PIE.
C is for COMMUNITY (Father and Daughter)
I want to be a strong person for my community
—a leader when a leader is needed;
a supporter when support is needed.
I always share what I know in the circle.
In my family, with my children.
I listen to everyone with not just my ears,
but also my big heart, big as the entire Great Plains
Listening and sharing will lead to community.
My daughter and I, we carry this vision
to every village, river, and city.
Now that I’ve come up
and been chosen by you,
All I want to say over and over is
we all need to tell our own stories
and really listen to each other’s lives.
That’s how we’ll come to know and understand,
respect who each and every person is.
I’ve learned about this since I was a child.
My father, Senor, taught me well.
That’s how we’ll become a true community.
O2 plants plants for peace.