In honor of Black History Month, we recognize the difficult past and celebrate the undeniable impact of African American farmers on past, present, and future foodways. It’s impossible to distill the entire meaning of Black History in America down to 20 minutes, so we chose to focus on the profound ways that farming can connect history and culture to environment and food.

We begin with two HRN Hall of Fame Honorees, Carla Hall and Leah Penniman, who share stories of struggling to balance the complex history of Soul Food and Farming While Black, while simultaneously using their platforms to improve access to fair, healthy food – especially for African American communities in the US. We also turn our spotlight on the Southeastern African American Organic Network and Harlem Grown, two organizations keeping the culture of Black farming alive.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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For further reading/listening and articles:

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture

Black Past

National Black Farmers Association

The 2007 Census of Agriculture: Black or African-American Farm Operators

USDA’s The Pursuit of Independent Farming and the Role of Cooperatives Black Farmers in
America: 1865-2000

The Decline (And Revival?) Of Black Farmers And Rural Landowners: A REVIEW OF THE
RESEARCH LITERATURE By Jess Gilbert, Gwen Sharp, and M. Sindy Felin

Food Network’s Bio of Carla Hall


Soul Fire Farm

Oxford Encyclopedia: Farming and Herding in Eastern Africa: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives

HRN: Origins

HRN: The Farm Report with Leah Penniman

HRN: A Hungry Society

HRN: Food Without Borders

HRN On Tour with Stephen Satterfield

What Happened To America’s Black Farmers?

Black Farmers To Receive Payouts In $1.2 Billion From Federal Lawsuit (2013)

Black Farmers in Georgia Reclaiming Agricultural Roots

NPR: Black Farmers Are Sowing The Seeds Of Health And Empowerment

NPR: 'Farming While Black': A Guide To Finding Power And Dignity Through Food

African American Farmers and Civil Rights By Pete Daniel

NY Times: A Difficult Harvest for America’s Black Farmers

NY Times: African Pastoral: Archaeologists Rewrite History of Farming

PBS: Where Are Black Chefs?