Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists


Product Details

$26.99  $25.10
Amistad Press
Publish Date
6.38 X 9.4 X 1.24 inches | 1.08 pounds

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About the Author

Leah Penniman, the 2019 recipient of the James Beard Foundation Leadership Award, is a Black Kreyol farmer who has been organizing for an anti-racist food system for over fifteen years. She began with the Food Project in Boston, Massachusetts, and went on to work at Farm School in Athol, Massachusetts, and Many Hands Organic Farm in Barre, Massachusetts. She cofounded Youth Grow urban farm in Worcester, Massachusetts. She currently serves as founding co-executive director of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, a people-of-color led project that works to dismantle racism in the food system through a low cost fresh food delivery service for people living under food apartheid, training programs for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous aspiring farmer-activists, Uprooting Racism training for food justice leaders, and regional-national-international coalition building between farmers of color advocating for policy shifts and reparations. She has dedicated her life's work to racial justice in the food system and has been recognized by the Soros Equality Fellowship, NYSHealth Emerging Innovator Awards, The Andrew Goodman Foundation Hidden Heroes Award, Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, New Tech Network National Teaching Award, Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching (New York finalist), among others. She has contributed to two published volumes, authored numerous online articles, and given dozens of public talks on the subject.


"Penniman and the interviewees offer a staggering range of reparative projects, including farms and community agricultural projects rooted in traditional African farming practices, heirloom seed cooperatives, nature therapy programs for juvenile offenders, and hiking groups for Black women and teens. It's clear that Penniman and her contributors view Black environmentalism as healing therapy not only for Black individuals but for the planet." -- Booklist (starred review)

"Soulful, spirited, and often joyful, [Black Earth Wisdom] is sustained by a deep reverence for the Earth and its "symbiotic living ecosystems." The result is a potent look at the overlap between the environmental and racial justice movements." -- Publishers Weekly

"A powerful and passionate collection of instructive perspectives on nature."
-- Kirkus Reviews

"A moving and powerful how-to book for Black farmers to reclaim the occupation and the contributions of the BIPOC community that introduced sustainable agriculture." -- Book Riot on Farming While Black

"An extraordinary book...part agricultural guide, part revolutionary manifesto." -- Vogue on Farming While Black

"Provides practical tools along with a beautiful visionary template for practicing land development that is rooted in healing and transformation." -- Patrisse Khan-Cullors on Farming While Black

"Leah Penniman is . . . opening the door for the next generation of farmers." -- CBS This Morning on Farming While Black

"Leah is truly changing our food system, one bite at a time." -- PBS on Farming While Black

"Farming While Black offers a guide to reclaiming food systems from white supremacy." -- Bon Appetit on Farming While Black

"A guidebook to dismantle systemic racism." -- Civil Eats on Farming While Black

"Penniman is part of a growing movement to reclaim Black farmers' hard-won place in our country's agriculture." -- Mother Jones on Farming While Black

"What I find so important about the work that [Penniman does] is that it's reconnecting things that were torn asunder [and] challenging assumptions." -- Food & Wine on Farming While Black