Elisabeth Keller joins Konda Mason for a conversation about the intersection of land, race, money, and spirit, which is the story of America itself.
Elisabeth Keller is the President of Inglewood Farm in Alexandria, Louisiana. Inglewood is on land that was once a cotton plantation and has its farming roots in the slaveholding economy. As President of Inglewood, Elisabeth is committed to a path of healing and repair on the farm. This began with the transition 8 years ago to organic and regenerative farming practices. Along with the work of healing the land, Elisabeth has committed to the deeper, more difficult work of healing through racial equity and reparations. This commitment lies at the heart of the partnership she has made with Konda Mason and Jubilee Justice. Read more about Elisabeth and her work at Inglewood Farm.
Konda introduces Elisabeth, who shares the story of how her family came to own land that was once a cotton plantation. She talks about how her comfort food as a child was actually ‘discomfort food’, as it showcased the great divide between white people and Black people in her life. Konda and Elisabeth discuss the intersection of land, race, money, and spirit, and how it is truly the story of America itself.
“From my earliest memories my life was defined by race, and my understanding that I was white, my family was white, and that people we knew and loved and had close relationships [with] were Black. And that our lives were forever interwoven.” – Elisabeth Keller
Inequity and Reparations (23:00)
Konda asks Elisabeth about the hard work she’s done to tackle the big questions of race, inequity, and love. Konda talks about how her partnership with Elisabeth began, and the experience of being on plantation land for the first time in her life. They discuss the concept of reparations, and how it’s about more than just money and land.
“The work of reparations is also the repair of my own soul and spirit.” – Elisabeth Keller
Francesca Maximé and Jacqueline Battalora discuss the foundation of America’s institutionalized racism on ReRooted Ep. 39
Tell the Truth (43:33)
Konda and Elisabeth discuss how the pandemic and the murder of George Floyd were the perfect storm for white America to wake up to systemic racism and white supremacy. Konda talks about how it’s not what white people need to start doing, it’s what they need to stop doing. Elisabeth explores how being kind and being anti-racist are two different things.
“It starts with, stop pretending and tell the truth. And that’s why truth telling is at the core, storytelling is always at the core of everything that is meaningful.” – Konda Mason