ROOTED | A Busboys and Poets Books Presentation

Schedule

Thu Jun 20 2024 at 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm

UTC-04:00

Location

Busboys and Poets 14th & V | Washington, DC

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Join us to learn about the history of land theft and how it has influenced Black land ownership and the racial wealth gap
About this Event

Why is less than 1% of rural land in the U.S. owned by Black people? Brea Baker, an acclaimed writer and activist, explores the impact of land theft and violent displacement on racial wealth gaps, arguing that justice stems from the literal roots of the earth in her latest release ROOTED.

To understand the contemporary racial wealth gap, we must first unpack the historic attacks on Indigenous and Black land ownership. From the moment that colonizers set foot on Virginian soil, a centuries-long war was waged, resulting in an existential dilemma: Who owns what on stolen land? Who owns what with stolen labor? To answer these questions, we must confront one of this nation’s first sins: stealing, hoarding, and commodifying the land.

Research suggests that between 1910 and 1997, Black Americans lost about 90% of their farmland. Land theft widened the racial wealth gap, privatized natural resources, and created a permanent barrier to access that should be a birthright for Black and Indigenous communities. ROOTED traces the experiences of Brea Baker’s family history of devastating land loss in Kentucky and North Carolina, identifying such violence as the root of persistent inequality in this country. Ultimately, her grandparents’ commitment to Black land ownership resulted in the Bakers Acres—a haven for the family where they are sustained by the land, surrounded by love, and wholly free.

A testament to the Black farmers who dreamed of feeding, housing, and tending to their communities, Rooted bears witness to their commitment to freedom and reciprocal care for the land. By returning equity to a dispossessed people, we can heal both the land and our nation’s soul.


Brea Baker is joining us on the Busboys stage to share her research and personal experiences with land theft. Copies of the book will be available for purchase during and after the event, and Baker will be signing following the program.

This event is free and open to all. Our program begins at 6:00 pm, and will be followed by an audience Q&A. Copies of ROOTED will be available for purchase before and after the event. Please note that this event is in person and will not be livestreamed. 


We ask that guests RSVP in order to receive direct updates about the event from Busboys and Poets Books


Brea Baker has been working on the frontlines for over a decade. She believes deeply in nuanced storytelling and Black culture to drive change, and has commented on race, gender, and sexuality for Elle, Harper’s BAZAAR, Refinery29, THEM, and more. Her writing has been featured in the anthologies OUR HISTORY HAS ALWAYS BEEN CONTRABAND and NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE.

A Yale alumna, Brea has been recognized as a 2017 Glamour Woman of the Year, a 2019 i-D Up and Rising, and a 2023 Creative Capital awardee. She has spoken at the United Nations' Girl Up Initiative, Yale Law School, the Youth 2 Youth Summit in Hong Kong, the Museum of City of New York, and more.

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Where is it happening?

Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St NW, Washington, United States

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Busboys and Poets

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