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August 24, 2020
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Living Through the Land

Anne Strainchamps talks with Venice Williams at Alice's Garden in Milwaukee.

Shannon Henry Kleiber (TTBOOK)

In preparation for a live show (we'll get back to those eventually, I hope), the entire TTBOOK staff visited one of our guests on location, Venice Williams at Alice's Garden in Milwaukee. We walked together, and saw her rain barrels and flowers, historical markers and playful decorations. And we heard about how growing things brings her community closer. 

Williams, an ordained minister, calls it her "outdoor parish." So it was great to hear her voice again in a new show this week, "Growing Justice." This week, we talk about civil rights and racial equality in relationship to farming and food. Anne talked with Savi Horne, executive director of the Land Loss Institute in Durham, N.C. Steve reached farmer Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in New York state and author of "Farming While Black," and I had a conversation with Marcia Chatelain, Georgetown professor and historian and author of "Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America."

In some ways, food, and land, are our most basic needs in life. But they are also fraught with some terrible history and deep sadness, especially when it comes to race. I hope this show gives you joy in hearing about how a new generation of Black farmers are taking back their land, sharing their bounty and creating a spiritual, and grounded, success. Let me know what you think, or any stories you have about food and farming, at


Read more »

How Black Farmers Lost 14 Million Acres of Farmland — And How They're Taking It Back

Farmers work the fields on Soul Fire Farm as part of their workshop series. These workshops are designed to teach Black, Indigenous, and people of color specific farming and homesteading practice that they can apply on their own farmland.
Farmer Leah Penniman, co-director of Soul Fire Farm in New York state, and author of "Farming While Black," is digging deep into the soil and her African history to change the story for a new generation.
Read more »

The First Job, The Polling Place, The Community Space: How McDonald's Became 'The Closest Thing To Home' For Black Communities

mcdonalds sign
Historian Marcia Chatelain found a surprising connection between McDonald's and civil rights history when researching her book "Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America." She writes about the intersection of race, capitalism and fast food.
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The Power in Naming an Illness

Poet Shira Erlichman say overcoming the shame of your diagnosis goes a long way toward treating it. Naming the illness — even naming the meds used to treat it — can make all the difference.
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Do 10 Burpees And Call Me In The Morning

Exercise is good for you. And while that might seem pretty obvious, Dr. Claudia Reardon says that it goes deeper than that — specific exercises can actually act as effective treatments for specific mental illnesses.
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