Syncopate | Raising Hay and Planting Roots: A Podcast Series

Dr. Michelle Johnson and #C3TalkToMe Media presents the stories of Black women with farming roots in Kalamazoo, Cass, and Van Buren Counties. Raising Hay digs through layers of pride and the challenges of Black farmers and rural and urban residents’ agricultural enterprises. The episodes also explore the lives of Black women artists as they reveal the links between creativity, identity, land, farming and legacy. Moments pieced together before and during the pandemic - and linked to broad-based Black activism in the United States - reveal the essential nature of Black people’s relationships with the land. The series adds (Add the title for the Water podcast), a Seth Bernard (check spelling) interview with Dr. Michelle S. Johnson on the eve of the 2017 (?) election. Johnson discusses her environmental roots in Saginaw and the intersection of industry, toxicity, development and stewardship.

The Lecture
Land Legacy: A Black Kalamazoo Land and Ethic will contextualize the 5 podcasts, including my interview from the State of Water. The conversation will articulate a distinctive environmental perspective at the intersection of place, ancestry, food and cultural insistence.

State of Water (ft.Dr. Michelle S. Johnson aka DJ Disobedience)

May 1st, 2022

Dr. Johnson was featured in this series and her words ring true to the theme of Raising Hay. 

Black Resorting in Michigan: The Syncopate Pilot

April 25th, 2022

In Black Resorting in Michigan:The Syncopate Pilot, Dr. Michelle S. Johnson highlights Michigan’s "other" Black resort, Paradise Lake in Cass County Michigan. One of many Black resorts in western Michigan, Johnson roots her discussion in resistance to slavery and her own family history.

Heather Mitchell and It Made Us Trust Plants More: Work Family Healing, and the Land

April 24th, 2022

Talking with Heather Mitchell is a perfect way to spend time! On this episode of Syncopate's Raising Hay series, Heather elevates a unique and representative history of Black land and culture as she paints the legacy of joy in family, land, food and art.

Salina Johnson and We Had All This Land For Them to Sleep On and Eat: Everything from Seed

April 17th, 2022

On this episode of Syncopate's Raising Hay series, Salina shares her insights about racialized corruption, family, sustainability and the legacy of her grandparents land.

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

April 10th, 2022

On this episode of Syncopate's Raising Hay series, Linsay Kelly discusses her art and places of origin, sustainability and greens, Cass County Black family networks, and how family stories are shaped, forgotten and recovered.

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

April 3rd, 2022

On this episode of Syncopate's Raising Hay series, we hear Remi reflect on the possibilities of Black people finding equitable solutions within and without established systems hindered by racialized power disparities, Black people’s essential relationship to the land, family legacy and art.

Syncopate Intro

July 13th, 2021
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