2024 | The Soil and The Story

Red clay soil from Athens, Georgia

The Soil and The Story

Exhibition Dates: January 16 – April 19

HGA Gallery, Rapson Hall   
Monday–Thursday: 7:45 AM–7:00 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM–6:00 PM

Video compilation of interviews with the farmers featured in The Soil and The Story provided by Tiffany LaShae

The Goldstein Museum of Design’s latest exhibition, The Soil and The Story, celebrates Black Soilship in the Black Belt by highlighting 12 farms researched in the last three years across Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Its organizers, bridging the College of Design and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, invite you to explore the relationships between science, nature, history, and culture—here and wherever you stand.

There is no U.S. agricultural history without the expertise and labor of Black people. Black farmers, horticulturists, scientists, and inventors have revolutionized the way our agricultural system functions. During the Great Migration six million Black people moved north and west to escape racial violence, economic and educational disadvantage, and the oppression of Jim Crow laws.

But many Black farmers remained. They liberate and heal both themselves and the soil by incorporating ancestral African traditions and indigenous land knowledge. The voices of Black farmers are essential to the knowledge and practices of U.S. soil health today and the design of systems and policies for the future.


Curators: Tiffany LaShae, MS Land and Atmospheric Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, with Terresa Moses, Assistant Professor, Graphic Design and Director of Design Justice, College of Design

Design: Terresa Moses with fabrication support by Justin Kindelspire and Annie Henly, College of Design Fabrication Shops

Printing: Minuteman Press

View press release

Exhibition Research Sponsors

UMN Institute for Advanced Studies Research and Creative Collaborative Grant
Soil Health Institute
Anonymous Donor Supporting Equity in Graduate Education
UMN College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
UMN Graduate School