Booksmith and The Bindery are very pleased to host the virtual launch for Natalie Baszile for her book We Are Each Other's Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy. She'll be in conversation with Konda Mason.
This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required. Event link will be sent to everyone who registers.
You can order We Are Each Other's Harvest here – we're currently offering free shipping throughout San Francisco and the East Bay.
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.
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.
Konda Mason is a social entrepreneur, finance activist, earth and social justice activist and mindfulness teacher. She is the Co-founder and President of Jubilee Justice, Inc, a nonprofit working to bring climate resilient farming and economic equity to Black farmers in the rural South in order to restore and accelerate Black land ownership and stewardship and create thriving Black farming communities. Jubilee Justice also convenes transformational learning journeys across race and class exploring conversations at the intersection of Land, Race, Money & Spirit. She is also the Co-founder and VP of Potlikker Capital, a next economy loan fund specially designed to deploy integrated capital to Black American farmers.
Konda is Co-Founder and founding CEO of Impact Hub Oakland (newly renamed Emerge Oakland), an award winning co-working space that supports socially engaged entrepreneurs and changemakers. She is the Strategic Director of RUNWAY, a micro-lending fund for African American entrepreneurs, and the co-founder of the annual COCAP (Community Capital) conference in Oakland, with a focus on closing the racial wealth gap, restorative economics and the next economy just transition.
Along with her partner, actor Woody Harrleson, Konda opened the first home delivery service of organic food in the Los Angeles area and was responsible for negotiating the first organic food section in a major supermarket in the area. Ms. Mason holds a Permaculture Design Certificate from Commonweal Institute and has an honorary MBA from Presidio Graduate School of Business. She teaches mindfulness at retreat centers throughout the U.S.A.
Konda sits on the Board of Directors of The Historic Clayborn Temple in Memphis, TN, On Being with Krista Tippett, One Generation with Paul Hawken, Lion’s Roar Magazine, and is a Trustee at Mills College in Oakland, CA.
This event is free and all ages, but RSVP is required.