Schomburg Center Lit Fest: Land of the Free with Natalie Baszile

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture




Event Dates

Jun 14, 2021


6:30pm - 8:00pm

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center Literary Festival expands the center's long tradition of championing authors of African descent from across the globe and publications that celebrate Black history and culture.

Day 1: Land of the Free

Natalie Baszile’s debut novel, Queen Sugar and her latest anthology, We Are Each Other's Harvest, elevate the voices and stories of black farmers. She joins us in examining Black people’s connection to the American land from Emancipation to today.

We Are Each Other's Harvest - GET THE BOOK

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.