Raising Hay and Planting Roots: Black Women, the Arts, and Farming

A Podcast Mini-Series in 4 episodes

In Syncopate’s Raising Hay and Planting Roots: Black Farmers in Kalamazoo, Cass and Van Buren Counties, each episode shows how family story frames Black environmental culture with the history of Black agricultural land ownership, art, oral history and current cultural movements. Raising Hay especially digs through layers of  pride and the challenges of Black farmers and rural residents who owned or have agricultural enterprises.

In four episodes, we will explore the life and art of four black women artists, Linsay Kelly, Salina Johnson, Heather Mitchell and Remi Harrington as they reveal the links between creativity, identity, land, farming and legacy.  These moments, pieced together before, during and since the massive pandemic and broad based Black activism in the US, seem even more relevant as we recall what is deemed essential and our narrator’s insight on environmental culture, ancestry, retention, loss and restoration.

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Land Legacy: A Black Kalamazoo Land and Ethic
Saturday, May 28, 4:30-6 pm
Free program includes KNC admission – no registration required

This lecture by Dr. Michelle Johnson will contextualize the Raising
Hay podcasts and will include her interview from the “State of Water.” The conversation will articulate a distinctive environmental perspective at the intersection of place, ancestry, food and cultural insistence.

DC will offer a live performance w/ guitar accompaniment presenting both original and cover songs to contribute to the centering of black voices and experiences before and after the event.

Meet: KNC Visitor Center

Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson

Check back here each Sunday in April for the episodes:

Remi Harrington

The Landscape of Our Lives Been Blowing the Whistle: Palpable Black land Ownership (featuring Remi Harrington)

April 3, 2022
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Linsay Kelly

You Need a Lot More Than Hard Work to Make Hay:  Drinkin Singing and Eating the Fruit (featuring Linsay Kelly)

April 10, 2022
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Salina Johnson

We Had All the Land for them to Sleep On and Eat: Everything from Seed (featuring Salina Johnson)

April 17, 2022
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It Made Us Trust Plants More: Work, Family Healing, and the Land (featuring Heather Mitchell)

April 24, 2022
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