Rhythms of the Land is a valentine to generations of black farmers in the United States from the enslavement period to the present, whose intense love of the land and dedication to community enabled them to survive against overwhelming odds.  They struggled from the beginning without support or recognition, and have been written out of the dominant narratives of US agriculture.


A large portion of African American sharecroppers and tenant farmers migrated to the North after the Wars I and II for factory jobs. These are the stories of the people that remained on or returned to the land and continued the agrarian traditions passed down from their ancestors.  

This trailer spotlights a few of the more than 30 interviews weaving a compelling story of love for family, land, God, and community.   Rhythms of the Land brings to life a love story seldom told.

A Few People in the Trailer:


Icefene Thomas, lived until the age of 113, born December 24, 1902, died January 6, 2016.


Charlie Brown, who can boast of never having suffered a failed crop.


Deborah Williams, daughter of a Georgia sharecropper, who in 1996 Co-founded "The Mother Clyde Memorial West End Garden", the first Atlanta community garden in a trash-strewn vacant lot, now a thriving urban farm where the community can freely pick fruits and vegetables, to each according to need.

Alvin Steppe, played an integral part in the historic Pigford v. Glickman litigation moving forward, the class action lawsuit against the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture for loan discrimination against Black farmers.

Russell Prince, Texas aquaponics visionary.

Shirley Sherrod is a former Georgia State Director of Rural Development of the USDA who was forced to resign her post because of unfair charges of racism, who tells the tragic story of her farming father’s murder by a white farmer that inspired her long career of public service.

Jery Taylor, basket weaver tells how rice plantations in South Carolina used the basket weaving tradition from West Africa in the “fanner basket. According to Mrs. Jery Taylor, men were the original Baskets weavers when Senegambians was first transported to this country. During the Civil War when the men went to war, then women began making the baskets.