(5 / 5) – It Completes Me!
I would never have expected a book written about farming to be such a page turner, but Natalie Baszile’s research, writing and composition of stories surrounding black and brown farmers living and working off the land right now, is an absolute gem that I encourage you to add to your TBR.
I grew up in Iowa. My father’s family were farmers and I have cousins who farm to this day, but I have always identified as a “city girl” though I didn’t live in a real city until I attended college. I admit that when farming is being discussed my imagination drifts towards a picture of older white men standing by old John Deere tractors and wearing overalls. Baszile breaks that preconceived notion open and offers a colorful array of characters and personalities in both farmers and farms.
There is power in expanding our imagination and I am so grateful to have the stories of the Armstrongs, Odis Hill, Willie Earl Nelson Sr. and son, and so many others to expand my own knowledge and understanding. These stories of men and women living in relationship to land and produce are deeply intentional and interspersed with poetry, art and the historical circumstances Black farmers have had to confront time and time again in the American system.
Baszile doesn’t shy away from the grit and agony of farming, but speaks truthfully with a light shining on the hope that is carried by each of these farmers as they enter into their next chapter. This book is a gem that I am so grateful was recommended to me and I am utterly humbled to have these stories in my life.