Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.
Natalie
Award-Nominated Fiction Novelist
Non-Fiction Author and Essayist
Travels from: San Francisco, CA

“Baszile’s beautifully produced compendium of essays, poems, and photographs explores Black Americans’ connection to the soil.” — The Boston Globe

Natalie Baszile is the author of the novel, Queen Sugar, which was adapted for seven television seasons by writer/director Ava DuVernay, and co-produced by Oprah Winfrey. Queen Sugar was named one of the San Francisco Chronicles’ Best Books of 2014, was long-listed for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize, and nominated for an NAACP Image Award.

In her new non-fiction book, We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating of African American Farmers, Land & Legacy, Natalie brings together essays, poems, conversations, portraits, and first-person narratives to tell the story of Black people’s connection to the land from Emancipation to the present. We Are Each Other’s Harvest is an Amazon Editor’s Pick and was a Wall Street Journal Book of the Year, 2021.

Her non-fiction essays has appeared in National Geographic, The Bitter Southerner, O, The Oprah Magazine, and numerous anthologies. She has taught fiction at Saint Mary’s College and Sierra Nevada University.

A native Californian, Natalie’s southern roots stem from Louisiana, South Carolina, and Alabama. Her maternal Great-great grandfather, Mac Hall (b. 1845) was a farmer, merchant and beekeeper. Natalie’s passion for the stories of Black farmers and land stewards comes from a desire to shift the narrative around agriculture, farming, and labor.

Natalie has a M.A. in Afro-American Studies from UCLA, and an MFA from Warren Wilson College’s MFA Program for Writers. She has had residencies at Ragdale Foundation, VCCA, Hedgebrook, and Djerassi where she was the SFFILM and Bonnie Rattner Fellow. Natalie lives in San Francisco.

Natalie's Featured Titles

We Are Each Other’s Harvest: Celebrating African American Farmers, Land, and Legacy

Amistad |
Agriculture & Food

WALL STREET JOURNAL FAVORITE FOOD BOOK OF THE EAR

From the author of Queen Sugar—now a critically acclaimed series on OWN directed by Ava Duvernay—comes a beautiful exploration and celebration of black farming in America. 

 

In this impressive anthology, Natalie Baszile brings together essays, poems, photographs, quotes, conversations, and first-person stories to examine black people’s connection to the American land from Emancipation to today. In the 1920s, there were over one million black farmers; today there are just 45,000. Baszile explores this crisis, through the farmers’ personal experiences. In their own words, middle aged and elderly black farmers explain why they continue to farm despite systemic discrimination and land loss. The “Returning Generation”—young farmers, who are building upon the legacy of their ancestors, talk about the challenges they face as they seek to redress issues of food justice, food sovereignty, and reparations.

These farmers are joined by other influential voices, including noted historians Analena Hope Hassberg and Pete Daniel, and award-winning author Clyde W. Ford, who considers the arrival of Africans to American shores; and James Beard Award-winning writers and Michael Twitty, reflects on black culinary tradition and its African roots. Poetry and inspirational quotes are woven into these diverse narratives, adding richness and texture, as well as stunning four-color photographs from photographers Alison Gootee and Malcom Williams, and Baszile’s personal collection.

As Baszile reveals, black farming informs crucial aspects of American culture—the family, the way our national identity is bound up with the land, the pull of memory, the healing power of food, and race relations. She reminds us that the land, well-earned and fiercely protected, transcends history and signifies a home that can be tended, tilled, and passed to succeeding generations with pride. We Are Each Other’s Harvest elevates the voices and stories of black farmers and people of color, celebrating their perseverance and resilience, while spotlighting the challenges they continue to face. Luminous and eye-opening, this eclectic collection helps people and communities of color today reimagine what it means to be dedicated to the soil.

Queen Sugar

Penguin Books |
Family Life Fiction

The inspiration for the acclaimed OWN TV series produced by Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay

“Queen Sugar is a page-turning, heart-breaking novel of the new south, where the past is never truly past, but the future is a hot, bright promise. This is a story of family and the healing power of our connections—to each other, and to the rich land beneath our feet.”
Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage

Readers, booksellers, and critics alike are embracing Queen Sugar and cheering for its heroine, Charley Bordelon, an African American woman and single mother struggling to build a new life amid the complexities of the contemporary South.

When Charley unexpectedly inherits eight hundred acres of sugarcane land, she and her eleven-year-old daughter say goodbye to smoggy Los Angeles and head to Louisiana. She soon learns, however, that cane farming is always going to be a white man’s business. As the sweltering summer unfolds, Charley struggles to balance the overwhelming challenges of a farm in decline with the demands of family and the startling desires of her own heart.

Authors-Unbound_icon-web-link.png

WE ARE EACH OTHER'S HARVEST - The History of Land

In the early decades following enslavement, there were nearly one million Black farmers; today there are just 45,000 having lost 14 million acres of land.

In this talk, Natalie, chronicles African-American’s connection to the land from Emancipation to the present, and explores the role that land ownership and land stewardship has played in the American imagination. As national conversations about agriculture, food justice, climate change and economic disparity reach a high, Natalie offers an outstanding vantage on these interwoven subjects in a bountiful and harmonious chorus of essays, poems, quotes, first-person narratives and conversations to reveal a long, rich agricultural history of Black people and their connection to American soil.

Authors-Unbound_icon-web-link.png

The Journey to Writing Queen Sugar

In this talk, Natalie shares the story of her 11-year journey to write her debut novel, Queen Sugar— from the early inspiration when she first discovered her Louisiana roots to the day she got the call from Oprah Winfrey saying she wanted to option the novel for a television series.

Authors-Unbound_icon-web-link.png

How I Became A Writer

In this talk, Natalie shares the story of how she became a writer, starting from the day she walked away from her family business to the day she learned her novel was sold, and the valuable lessons she learned about perseverance, disappointment, and determination along the way. This inspiring talk is ideal for anyone who longs to write.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF6iN-1ttAk&t=135s

Natalie’s Events Link

Black Harvest Fund Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Queen Sugar
San Francisco Chronicle’s Best Books of 2014
NAACP Debut Fiction Finalist
Shortlisted for the Crooks Corner Southern Book Prize

We Are Each Other’s Harvest
Amazon Editor’s Pick
Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

Similar Authors

Carolyn
Storyteller & Cultural Geographer
Terah
Debut Novelist
Victoria
Bestselling Novelist
Elizabeth
Nonfiction Writer
Angie

Kim

Award Winning Novelist

Interested in hosting this author?
Send us a message and an A|U Agent will return to you ASAP!