A soulful collection of illuminating essays and interviews that explore Black people’s spiritual connection to the land and the climate justice crisis, curated by the acclaimed author of Farming While Black.
Author of Farming While Black and co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, Leah Penniman reminds us that ecological humility is an intrinsic part of Black cultural heritage. While racial capitalism has attempted to sever our connection to the sacred earth for 400 years, Black people have long seen the land and water as family and treating the Earth as a home essential.
This thought-provoking anthology brings together today’s most respected and influential Black environmentalist voices. These varied and distinguished experts include Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Alice Walker; the first Queen Mother and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Queen Quet; marine biologist, policy expert, and founder and president of Ocean Collectiv, Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson; and the Executive Director of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers, Land Loss Prevention Project, Savi Horne. These leaders address the essential connection between nature and our survival and how runaway consumption and corporate insatiability are harming the earth and every facet of American society, including racial violence, food apartheid, and climate justice.
Those whose skin is the color of soil are reviving their ancestral and ancient practice of listening to the earth for guidance. Penniman makes clear that the fight for racial and environmental justice demands that Black people put our planet first and defer to nature as our teacher.
Alice Walker • adrienne maree brown • Dr. Ross Gay • Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson • Rue Mapp • Dr. Carolyn Finney • Audrey Peterman • Awise Agbaye Wande Abimbola • Kendra Pierre-Louis • Latria Graham • Awo Enroue Onigbonna Sangofemi Halfkenny • Dr. Lauret Savoy • Ibrahim Abdul-Matin • Savi Horne • Dr. Claudia Ford • Dr. J. Drew Lanham • Dr. Leni Sorensen • Queen Quet • Toshi Reagon • Yeye Luisah Teish • Yonnette Fleming • Naima Penniman • Angelou Ezeilo • James Edward Mills • Teresa Baker • Ira Wallace • Pandora Thomas • Toi Scott • Aleya Fraser • Chris Bolden-Newsome • Savonella Horne Esq • Dr. Joshua Bennett • B. Anderson • Chris Hill • Greg Watson • T. Morgan Dixon • Dr. Dorceta Taylor • Colette Pichon Battle Esq • Dillon Bernard • Sharon Lavigne • Steve Curwood
Leah Penniman (li/she/ya/elle) is a Black Kreyol farmer/peyizan, mother, soil nerd, author, food justice activist, and cofounder of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York. She has been farming for more than twenty-five years, holds an MA in Science Education and a BA in Environmental Science and International Development from Clark University, and is a member of clergy in West African Indigenous Orisa tradition. Her first book, Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land, is a love song for the land and her people.
"A moving and powerful how-to book for Black farmers to reclaim the occupation and the contributions of the BIPOC community that introduced sustainable agriculture." — Book Riot on Farming While Black
"An extraordinary book...part agricultural guide, part revolutionary manifesto." — Vogue on Farming While Black
“Provides practical tools along with a beautiful visionary template for practicing land development that is rooted in healing and transformation.” — Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Farming While Black
"Leah Penniman is . . . opening the door for the next generation of farmers." — CBS This Morning on Farming While Black
“Leah is truly changing our food system, one bite at a time.” — PBS on Farming While Black
“Farming While Black offers a guide to reclaiming food systems from white supremacy.” — Bon Appetit on Farming While Black
“A guidebook to dismantle systemic racism.” — Civil Eats on Farming While Black
“Penniman is part of a growing movement to reclaim Black farmers’ hard-won place in our country’s agriculture.” — Mother Jones on Farming While Black
“What I find so important about the work that [Penniman does] is that it’s reconnecting things that were torn asunder [and] challenging assumptions.” — Food & Wine on Farming While Black