We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

by Natalie Baszile
We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

by Natalie Baszile

Hardcover

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Overview

A WALL STREET JOURNAL FAVORITE FOOD BOOK OF THE EAR

From the author of Queen Sugar—now a critically acclaimed series on OWN directed by Ava Duvernay—comes a beautiful exploration and celebration of black farming in America. 


In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people’s connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000. Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers’ personal experiences. In their own words, middle aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss. The "Returning Generation"—young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations. 

These farmers are joined by other influential voices, including noted historians Analena Hope Hassberg and Pete Daniel, and award-winning author Clyde W. Ford, who considers the arrival of Africans to American shores; and James Beard Award-winning writers and Michael Twitty, reflects on black culinary tradition and its African roots. Poetry and inspirational quotes are woven into these diverse narratives, adding richness and texture, as well as stunning four-color photographs from photographers Alison Gootee and Malcom Williams, and Baszile’s personal collection. 

As Baszile reveals, black farming informs crucial aspects of American culture—the family, the way our national identity is bound up with the land, the pull of memory, the healing power of food, and race relations. She reminds us that the land, well-earned and fiercely protected, transcends history and signifies a home that can be tended, tilled, and passed to succeeding generations with pride. We Are Each Other’s Harvest elevates the voices and stories of black farmers and people of color, celebrating their perseverance and resilience, while spotlighting the challenges they continue to face. Luminous and eye-opening, this eclectic collection helps people and communities of color today reimagine what it means to be dedicated to the soil.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062932563
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 04/06/2021
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 488,972
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Natalie Baszile is the author of the novel Queen Sugar, which was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2014, longlisted for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, nominated for an NAACP Image Award, and adapted for television by writer/director Ava DuVernay and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey for OWN. Baszile holds a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA and is a graduate of Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. She lives in San Francisco.

Table of Contents

Foreword Natalie Baszile 1

Introduction Dr. Analena Hope Hassberg 7

1 Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden 13

2 Everyone Beneath Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: A Remembering in Seven Parts by Michael Twitty 15

3 Handed the Rain by Ed Roberson 21

4 Writing Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile 25

5 Excerpt from Black and White: The Way I See It by Richard Williams 37

6 Resilience and Reinvention with Stanley Hughes and Linda Leach 43

7 Little Farm, Big Dreams with Kamal Bell 55

8 Black to the Land by Leah Penniman 61

9 Cutting greens by Lucille Clifton 67

10 The Last Plantation: The USDA's Racist Operating System by Pete Daniel 69

11 Father and Daughter with Harper and Ashley Armstrong 91

12 To the Fig Tree on 9th and Christian by Ross Gay 99

13 On Top of Moon Mountain with Brenae Royal 105

14 Money Talk with Clif Sutton and Dexter Faison 115

15 Barking by Lenard D. Moore 123

16 Dispossessed: Their Family Bought Land One Generation After Slavery. The Reels Brothers Spent Eight Years in Jail for Refusing to Leave It by Lizzie Presser 125

17 Louisiana Daughters: A Conversation with Lalita Tademy and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton 147

18 Queen Sugar, Chapter 10 by Natalie Baszile 161

19 Frame by Robin Coste Lewis 167

20 America at the Crossroads: A History of Enslavement and Land by Clyde Ford 171

21 Field Day at the Hill Place with Odis Hill 185

22 Equal Ground with Willie Earl Nelson Sr. and Sons 193

23 Fearless by Tim Seibles 205

24 Four Days in Alaskan Farm School with Melony Edwards 209

25 No Better Life with the Blueforts 217

26 Ancestral Vibrations Guide Our Connection to the Land by Jim Embry 227

27 Remember by Joy Harjo 239

28 Family Ties with Esmeralda and Antonio Sandoval 243

29 How to Make Rain by Kevin Young 251

30 Miss Rose's Dirty Rice by Natalie Baszile 253

31 A New Country with Dorcas Young 257

32 Raised and Rooted with Deric Harper 263

33 Making Space with Moretta Browne 271

34 Call Me by My Name by Harryette Mullen 275

35 Wheel of Fortune with Martha Calderon 277

36 Exceeding the "Yes" with Marvin Frink 283

37 Swarm by Tonya Foster 291

38 A Brief History of Tobacco by Natalie Baszile 293

39 After Tobacco with the Wrights 297

40 Yellowjackets by Yusef Komunyakaa 301

41 Home Games with Kellye Walker and Werten Bellamy 303

42 Butter by Elizabeth Alexander 311

43 A Love Letter to Future Generations by Naima Penniman 313

44 Inside Queen Sugar: Jason Wilborn Reflects on His Years in the Queen Sugar Writers' Room by Natalie Baszile 319

45 The Boudin Trail by Natalie Baszile 327

Black Harvest Fund 335

Acknowledgments 337

Notes 339

Credits 345

Contributors 347

Photographs 349

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