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Check It Out: We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy by Natalie Baszile

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This is Michael Maxwell with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.

Today, I am recommending We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy by Natalie Baszile- the bestselling author of Queen Sugar. Reading We Are Each Other’s Harvest feels like sitting down to binge a really well-done documentary series. Baszile writes in a journalistic style that flows so naturally readers will follow her wherever she goes. She begins this history of African American Farmers with the story of how she researched and wrote Queen Sugar. During this time, she fell in love with the sugar cane farms of Louisiana and knew she had to return to delve deeper into the history of this land.

Baszile brings a chorus of voices along with her in We Are Each Other’s Harvest- essays are contributed by other authors who investigate the broad subject of African American land ownership and farming through captivating human-interest stories and histories- some are even written by farmers themselves or come from interviews with farmers. Baszile is a master curator who brings together these different voices alongside her own words in order to tell one great American story. The essays are separated by wonderful poems and gorgeous photographs that capture the beauty of the land and the people who live on it and cultivate it. Readers will also hear from historical voices like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and General Sherman who have words to share that still resonate today.

We Are Each Other’s Harvest is the perfect book to read outside on your porch or next to an open window with a fresh breeze. Although the profiles of farms and farmers in this book largely come from Southern states, I am sure many Iowans will see reflections of themselves in these pages. Check out We Are Each Other’s Harvest and other essential histories of American agriculture at the Sioux City Public Library today!

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Verde Outdoor Media.

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