‘We Are Each Other’s Harvest’: African American farmers, land, and legacy

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Naima Penniman (left) and Leah Penniman work at Soul Fire Farm, an Afro-Indigenous-centered community farm in upstate New York, and are looking to change the narrative about farming and agriculture. Photo by Alison Gootee.

In her new book “We Are Each Other’s Harvest,” author Natalie Baszile brings together the narratives and histories of Black farmers in America. She co-hosts this edition of Good Food with Evan Kleiman, as they speak to those who are tied to the land and profiled in the book. “Farmers are living ancestors for Black people,” explains Baszile, whose personal history includes a connection to farming. 

Clyde W. Ford provides a historical account of how the American government has failed Black farmers. Willie Earl Nelson and his son Adrain explain the discriminatory tactics deployed to deny Black farmers of capital to purchase land. O’Neal Bluefort remembers early days on his family’s tobacco farm and his grandfather’s final gift with wishes to continue his legacy. Baszile recounts a visit from her grandmother and her recipe for dirty rice. Finally, Naima Penniman reads her poem for future generations.