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Fighting for The Promised Land

Shirley Sherrod's name was thrust into the headlines in 2010 when she was fired from her post at the United States Department of Agriculture, accused of anti-white bias.

2016 / Tina Antolini / Gravy, USA

Shirley Sherrod's name was thrust into the headlines in 2010 when she was fired from her post at the United States Department of Agriculture, accused of anti-white bias.

The next year, the Obama administration apologized - the supposed racist comments had been taken fully out of context. Sherrod's life has been defined by the fight for black-owned farmland since the 1960s. In this episode of the podcast Gravy, Tina Antolini traces Sherrod's life story as a farmer and advocate in Georgia, gracefully weaving it into the larger history of black farming, and how the USDA was complicit in the loss of millions of acres of African-American owned land.

"I have more room to tell longer, complicated stories than I'd had in most of the broadcast radio jobs," Tina says, about her move from public radio to her podcast partnership with the Southern Foodways Alliance. Learn more about that move, and about telling stories of the South through the lens of food in our behind-the-scenes interview.


The photo of Sheryl Sherrod was snapped by Tina Antolini. The story was reported and produced with the support of the UC Berkeley-11th Hour Food and Farming Journalism Fellowship. You can find more episodes of Gravy and the other work of the Southern Foodways Alliance here.


produced by

Tina Antolini

Tina Antolini is a Peabody-Award-winning storyteller and radio producer.


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