Farming While Black

Leah Penniman’s “Farming While Black” stands as a monumental achievement in agricultural literature, marking a significant milestone in the journey toward racial equality and sustainability in farming. Honored with the 28th Heinz Awards for the Economy and the 2019 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, this book is not only an agricultural guide but also a revolutionary manifesto, as described by VOGUE. Recognized as a “Best Book on Sustainable Living and Sustainability” by Book Riot, it addresses the critical issues facing the agricultural sector today, from the loss of black-owned farmland to the exploitative labor practices and the prevalence of food apartheid neighborhoods.

A Call to Reclaim and Redesign

In “Farming While Black,” Penniman illuminates the stark contrast between the historical contributions of African-heritage farmers and the current landscape of farm ownership and labor in the United States. The book serves as a clarion call for black farmers to reclaim their rightful place in agriculture and for the entire farming community to acknowledge and rectify the systemic injustices that have led to the current state of affairs.

A Comprehensive Guide for Aspiring Growers

At its core, “Farming While Black” is a comprehensive “how-to” guide designed for African-heritage growers and all farmers interested in sustainable agriculture practices informed by the African diaspora. From business planning and soil fertility to seed selection and agroecology, Penniman provides a concise yet expansive overview of small-scale farming techniques. The book also delves into culturally relevant recipes, ancestral stories, and strategies for healing from land-based trauma, making it a holistic resource for physical, emotional, and spiritual nourishment.

Soul Fire Farm: A Beacon of Hope

Woven throughout the book is the inspiring story of Soul Fire Farm, co-founded by Penniman as a leader in the food justice movement. Through the Black and Latinx Farmers Immersion (BLFI) program, Soul Fire Farm has become a sanctuary for new farmers to learn and grow in a supportive environment led by people of color. “Farming While Black” extends the curriculum of the BLFI, inviting readers from all backgrounds to engage with and contribute to a more equitable and sustainable farming future.

A Fresh Lens on Agricultural Practices

For experienced farmers and gardeners, “Farming While Black” offers a fresh perspective on familiar practices, highlighting the historical and ongoing contributions of Black ancestors and contemporaries in sustainable agriculture and food justice movements. It is an invitation to listen, learn, and act towards a more just and sustainable agricultural system.

Embark on a transformative journey with “Farming While Black.” Leah Penniman’s powerful narrative and practical guidance offer a path forward for reclaiming dignity, land, and legacy in farming. This book is a must-read for anyone committed to the principles of equality, sustainability, and community in agriculture.


Author: Leah Penniman

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 9781603587617

Pages: 368

Country: UK  

Language: English  

Dimension: 8 x 10 inch