Proud Harvest

Somewhere in a hidden bush in Tanzania, Jackie Robinson's Son, David Robinson, The Coffee Farmer lives.

Deep in the Tanzanian bush, David Robinson, the 53-year-old son of baseball legend and civil-rights hero Jackie Robinson, has exchanged his uneasy compromise with U.S. culture for a tribal adoption, an arranged marriage, and an economic crusade. Through the farmers' cooperative he founded, he is using the world's second-most-valuable natural resource—coffee—to spur social change. In the latest chapter of a great American family saga, the author learns about Robinson's childhood in lily-white Connecticut, his father's lessons, and the pride he has found in Africa.[ SO-Vanity Fair Archives)

See his Interview on Challenges of Coffee Farming in Tanzania Below




To get to David Robinson's Sweet Unity Farms, which lies in the agriculturally rich Mbozi District, you first take a 12-hour bus ride from Dar es Salaam, on the coast, to the small town of Mbeya, near the Zambian border. The next morning, you jump on a packed minivan, or dalla-dalla, for a careening hour-and-a-half ride to a dusty intersection called Mlowo. From there, you hire a Land Rover or pickup for the skull-jouncing trip to yet another, even smaller crossroads. Then you walk for three hours—past grass-roofed huts, grazing cattle, and neat plots of peanuts, corn, and coffee.