PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama and black farmers
By BEN EVANS – 6 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — As a senator, Barack Obama led the charge last year to pass a bill allowing black farmers to seek new discrimination claims against the Agriculture Department. Now he is president, and his administration so far is acting like it wants the potentially budget-busting lawsuits to go away.

The change isn't sitting well with black farmers who thought they'd get a friendlier reception from Obama after years of resistance from President George W. Bush.

"You can't blame it on the Bush administration anymore," said John Boyd, head of the National Black Farmers Association, which has organized the lawsuits. "I can't figure out for the life of me why the president wouldn't want to implement a bill that he fought for as a U.S. senator."

At issue is a class-action lawsuit known as the Pigford case. Thousands of farmers sued USDA claiming they had for years been denied government loans and other assistance that routinely went to whites. The government settled in 1999 and has paid out nearly $1 billion in damages on almost 16,000 claims.

Farmers, lawyers and activists like Boyd have worked for years to reopen the case because thousands of farmers missed the deadlines for participating. Many said the filing period was too short and they were unaware of the settlement until it was too late.

The cause gained momentum in August 2007 when Obama, then an Illinois senator, introduced Pigford legislation about six months into his presidential campaign.

Although the case was hardly a hot-button political issue, it had drawn intense interest among African-Americans in the rural South. It was seen as a way for Obama to reach out in those areas, where he was not well-known and where he would need strong support to win the Democratic primary.

The proposal won passage in May as sponsors rounded up enough support to incorporate it into the 2008 farm bill. The potential budget implications were huge: It could easily cost $2 billion or $3 billion given an estimated 65,000 pending claims.

With pressure to hold down costs, lawmakers set an artificially low $100 million budget. They called it a first step and said more money could be approved later.

But with 25,000 new claims and counting, the Obama administration is now arguing that the $100 million budget should be considered a cap to be split among the successful cases.

The position — spelled out in a legal motion filed in February and reiterated in recent settlement talks — would leave payments as low as $2,000 or $3,000 per farmer. Boyd called that "insulting."

Boyd noted that Obama's legislation specifically called for the new claimants to be eligible for the same awards as the initial lawsuit, including expedited payments of $50,000 plus $12,500 in tax breaks that the vast majority of the earlier farmers received.

"I'm really disappointed," Boyd said. "This is the president's bill."

"They did discriminate against these farmers, maybe not all of them, but a lot of these people would prevail if they could go to court," he said.

The administration wouldn't discuss specific budget plans or commit to fully funding the claims.

But in a statement to The Associated Press, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the department agrees that more needs to be done and is working with the Justice Department to "ensure that people are treated fairly."

Kenneth Baer, a budget spokesman for the White House, also suggested that the White House is planning to do more.

"The president has been a leader on this issue since his days as a U.S. senator and is deeply committed to closing this painful chapter in our history," Baer said in a statement.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Original Post
As I pointed out during the campaign, when you operate a store on the South Side of Chicago, and your clientele is nearly all black, you are going to sell differ things than when you open up your new store in West Suburban Schaumburg Illinois. People assumed that because in Obama’s flagship store he sold Pig feat, Collar Greens, Dew rags, carried Ebony, Jet, Royal Crown, Black hair care items and the like, that he would sell those same things in his new store where the demographics were majority white, as opposed to the demographics of predominately black South Side Chicago. Uhn uhn Negroes! nono That does not make good business sense. White folks don’t want to buy many of the “specialty” items sold by South Side Obama. He needs that shelf space for white “specialty” items, some of which are repulsive to black folks as our “specialty” items are repulsive to them. The South Side Obama store is CLOSED! You, the Negro shopper, now have to learn to like what white folks like.

Call me an Obama hater all you want....but I seen this coming.
I don't understand your response Noah.. I thought the article was saying Obama failed to follow up on a bill that supported justice for Black Farmers..
Noah...
20

I have to hand it to you, your post is hilarious!

Nevertheless, I wouldn't be so cynical just yet. With budget pressures being what they are, I think we need to understand, and be encouraged, by the fact that Vilsack and Baer seem to be indicating that they plan to do more. I sure hope so... Frown

At the same time, shouldn't farmers be a part of the stimulus money? And why wouldn't a full payout here not bee seen as such?
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
shouldn't farmers be a part of the stimulus money? And why wouldn't a full payout here not bee seen as such?


That would be the most reasonable use of funds yet!!
Noah...man you have turned into a cynical brother for real....In the day it seemed like you were philosophically different...now you seem to spend time saying what we cannot do or accomplish or how Obama is full of it....not a personal attack on you at all bro.....just notice some changes...from the past...it is like someone else is on your computer.....peace
Not surprised.

More "change" you can not believe in.

Cynthia Mckinney would've never sold out the black farmers like obama IS going to do.
Roll Eyes
If the government would just pay the money that's owed due and carry out the terms of the lawsuit, none of these things would be going on. But Black farmers have very little support from black people as a whole. And furthermore, many farm subsidies have been going to large corporate farms and whites for decades. Nothing has changed with that.
As usual, are blaming Obama for something that he had nothing to do with as a matter of fact something that went on before he even went into politics. How much of a dumbass can people be?? I guess the idiots are just waiting for that illusive Obama wand to have been waved the day after the inaguration. Forget about the other branches of government who have some say in these matters like the legislature who pass laws. bang Stupid is everywhere, and I'm trying my hardest not to get any on myself!
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Noah...man you have turned into a cynical brother for real....In the day it seemed like you were philosophically different...now you seem to spend time saying what we cannot do or accomplish or how Obama is full of it....not a personal attack on you at all bro.....just notice some changes...from the past...it is like someone else is on your computer.....peace


I am exactly the same person that I was then, aside from being a little older and hopefully a little wiser. What has really changed is the world around me/us. My general cynicism is born from the downward direction this nation is going; independent of whom or what party is running the show. My cynicism of politicians is a strong as ever….regardless of what color they are or what party they are. I think that black people generally dropped their degree of cynicism or incredulous, about politicians, when the politician became Obama. Why? We all understood pre Obama that politicians lied and told people what they wanted to here to get elected. However, when Obama catapulted on the scene, all that we had evolved to understand about the nature of politics and politicians was thrown out the window and Obama was to be the person whose pre-election talk would match his post election walk. I never was one to believe that. Not that I believed Obama was hoodwinking or being disingenuous, but rather, due to my belief that other more powerful forces makes those decisions, as the president is, in many respect, simply a figure head. Moreover, over 70% of the electorate is white folks. We live in a REPRESENTITIVE REPUBLIC, in which MAJORITY RULES (Majority as in Majority of People and Majority of Money/Wealth). Black folks are a small minority in both aspects. So the policy that we will get from the president will be reflective of the sentiment of the Majority and black folks have always “suffered” under the tyranny of the white majority. Whites did not elect Obama to dismantle white tyranny. He was elected by them because he was not seen as a threat to it. If he does anything to change that perception, then he and his party are thrown into jeopardy the next election cycle. I think Obama is more worried about his personal success and president and Democrats are more worried about holding onto power after Republicans have held it for so long that Obama cannot really offer policy for black people, in regards to promoting racial equality. In fact, I believe that he has to overcompensate away from it, because he is black, just to keep from creating the perception of favoritism.

This is why I used the store analogy. What you sell as a store owner, looking to profit and stay in business, are what the demographic of the stores location dictate. It’s not based upon the personal preferences of the owner. One cannot assume that just because the owner stocks certain goods on the shelves that the owner personally enjoys and uses those things personally. That which is stocked is a business decision to satisfy the needs, preferences and wants of his clientele. Profit is the motive for the business. By the same token, Politicians operate off the same motivation to serve the needs, preference and wants of their clientele, in order to get and maintain a level of political power. When Obama’s Clientele became majority white that is when I became cynical of the black excitement, if not expectations of Obama. I did not understand how Obama could politically PROFIT, from a white clientele, by selling products/policy that would move the nation closer to racial equality, when whites see those efforts as antithetical to their standard of living and quality of life. Therefore, the fact that Obama boycotts the WCAR, and his current position on black farmers………is what I expected. That is how the “system” works…..regardless of who is at the figure head. Consquently, I will continue to by cynical and attack the "Shytstem"....regardless of the color and party of the "puppets".
Are aby of the Black Farmers really "Active Farmers"? Didn't some get small disbursements several years ago, and why aren't some of the Black Farmers growing any crops to play a role in suppling small Urban Grocers.

I know that many Black Farmers have been put out of Business, and many lost their Farms because Loan Monies were not available to them, but it seems as if some of them could have Farmed on smaller Parcels to stay afloat and be productive.

Blacks have lost all of their Farmland, and they have never been productive to any large extent in the farming community. Most are just growing just enough for themselves, but if they would have increased their volume, independent of any possible loans, they could have been doing better with what they had. It seems as if they have been going broke waiting for someone to lend them some money, all the time knowing what the situation is.

leart
Black farmers are not "waiting" for anyone to rescue them. However, if you are unable to get the big combines and large farm equipment to compete with the big farms or more accurately "agribusinesses", then it's very difficult to survive.
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin41:
Noah...man you have turned into a cynical brother for real....In the day it seemed like you were philosophically different...now you seem to spend time saying what we cannot do or accomplish or how Obama is full of it....not a personal attack on you at all bro.....just notice some changes...from the past...it is like someone else is on your computer.....peace


I am exactly the same person that I was then, aside from being a little older and hopefully a little wiser. What has really changed is the world around me/us. My general cynicism is born from the downward direction this nation is going; independent of whom or what party is running the show. My cynicism of politicians is a strong as ever….regardless of what color they are or what party they are. I think that black people generally dropped their degree of cynicism or incredulous, about politicians, when the politician became Obama. Why? We all understood pre Obama that politicians lied and told people what they wanted to here to get elected. However, when Obama catapulted on the scene, all that we had evolved to understand about the nature of politics and politicians was thrown out the window and Obama was to be the person whose pre-election talk would match his post election walk. I never was one to believe that. Not that I believed Obama was hoodwinking or being disingenuous, but rather, due to my belief that other more powerful forces makes those decisions, as the president is, in many respect, simply a figure head. Moreover, over 70% of the electorate is white folks. We live in a REPRESENTITIVE REPUBLIC, in which MAJORITY RULES (Majority as in Majority of People and Majority of Money/Wealth). Black folks are a small minority in both aspects. So the policy that we will get from the president will be reflective of the sentiment of the Majority and black folks have always “suffered” under the tyranny of the white majority. Whites did not elect Obama to dismantle white tyranny. He was elected by them because he was not seen as a threat to it. If he does anything to change that perception, then he and his party are thrown into jeopardy the next election cycle. I think Obama is more worried about his personal success and president and Democrats are more worried about holding onto power after Republicans have held it for so long that Obama cannot really offer policy for black people, in regards to promoting racial equality. In fact, I believe that he has to overcompensate away from it, because he is black, just to keep from creating the perception of favoritism.

This is why I used the store analogy. What you sell as a store owner, looking to profit and stay in business, are what the demographic of the stores location dictate. It’s not based upon the personal preferences of the owner. One cannot assume that just because the owner stocks certain goods on the shelves that the owner personally enjoys and uses those things personally. That which is stocked is a business decision to satisfy the needs, preferences and wants of his clientele. Profit is the motive for the business. By the same token, Politicians operate off the same motivation to serve the needs, preference and wants of their clientele, in order to get and maintain a level of political power. When Obama’s Clientele became majority white that is when I became cynical of the black excitement, if not expectations of Obama. I did not understand how Obama could politically PROFIT, from a white clientele, by selling products/policy that would move the nation closer to racial equality, when whites see those efforts as antithetical to their standard of living and quality of life. Therefore, the fact that Obama boycotts the WCAR, and his current position on black farmers………is what I expected. That is how the “system” works…..regardless of who is at the figure head. Consquently, I will continue to by cynical and attack the "Shytstem"....regardless of the color and party of the "puppets".




**I hear you Noah and thanks for the response. I understand where you are coming from and agree in many respects. Personally, I see Obama making the first step towards changing the laws and policy to help blak folks with the appointment of Holder to DOJ. I am anticipating That the benefits to us will happen over the course of his first term and really come to fruition once the Supremes are appointed in a way that will tilt the court away from the right. Being an academic, Obama understands the dynamics of race and politics in America as well as anyone. I really think he is smart enough to create policy that will help us by default without having to label it as "black policy". it is like the consequences of the repeal of affirmative action at the UT schools in Texas....once the 10% rule was put in place, blacks benefitted more than the standard AA programs that were in place previously. I think that Obama will pass policies that benefit us that others may view as having unintended consequences when in actuality, they were intended in the first place. I hope my optimism will be fulfilled....but I feel you on your viewpoints...they do have merit indeed my man......peace
NS:

Keep one thing in mind small operators can't compete with large operations, they don't have the infrastructure or the buying power. It's makes no sense to invest in high-end equipment when large operators (farmers) have the Distributors, and Retailers all tied up on paper
You will have difficulty delivering your goods to market, and getting then into the stores.

Small Businesses have to find their own nitch in all marketplaces. As my grandmother use to say, "find a need and fill it". That's what makes everything works. What you have with the Black Farmers is an inability to work with what they got. There was discrimination, there ua descrimination, and there will always be discrimination, but successful people don't lay around, bitching and moaning because they can't get in the front door, the "good one's" will always find other ways to accomplish their purpose.

A defeatist has no place in a modern society. Those are the ones who you find on the street corner strung out on dope or some other substance, unable to function, and waiting for a handout from someone. But while they are waiting they are sinking deeper and deeper into a bottomless Pit.

Keep one thing in mind, even today, the Black Farmer has no way to deliver Crops to market. Plus the fact that since few Retailers are Black Owned, few of the other Ethnics Stores would buy their Products. The Black Community's Economic Fibre has to be restored before any reasonable commerce can take place for Black Farmers.

The Black Farmer can't depend on the larger Society to support their interest or their Businss. The first step is to rid the community of all this illegal activity so Merchants caan open Stores, and people can move back into the Community. Blacks have to rid the Community of this Hudlum Element that is infesting our Community, and we gave to make it safe for and "Crime Free" for habitation for families and Childrens.

leart
quote:
Originally posted by leart:

NS:

What you have with the Black Farmers is an inability to work with what they got.



respectfully, what are you basing this on? and why is their plight described as "laying around bitching and moaning"?
quote:
Originally posted by leart:

Blacks have to rid the Community of this Hudlum Element that is infesting our Community, and we gave to make it safe for and "Crime Free" for habitation for families and Childrens.

leart



There's a hoodlum element on black owned farms? lol
By the 1920s Black farmers owned approximately 215Million acres of farm land; that amount has now dwindled to approximately 15Million acres today, which I think is still more than enough to supply to grocery chains, etc., i.e., NOT JUST ENOUGH to grow food for themselves.

THE PROBLEM WITH BEING BLACK FARMERS IN AMERICA:
________________________________________________


'Black Farmers in America'
by John Francis Ficara and Juan Williams


Enlarge

Herman Lynch worked on his grandfather's farm for many years, until the older man died. Because of legal problems with the farm's deed, the land was sold to a neighboring farmer. Lynch now tends his grandfather's land as hired help. John Francis Ficara




Enlarge

Louden Marshall ties his grandson Cullen's shoelace as his son Louden III walks toward the house. Only days before, Louden III indicated that he did not want to continue working the family farm, preferring instead to seek employment off the farm. John Francis Ficara




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Rosa Murphy, in her late '80s, continues to do light work in her fields. John Francis Ficara




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Allen Gooden, cattle farmer John Francis Ficara




Enlarge

A second generation farmer, John Burton grows and handpicks Velencia peanuts with the help of his wife, Evelena. Says John, "For many years I walked behind horses. Got a tractor and it made it a little easier." John Francis Ficara




Enlarge

Black Farmers protest outside the U.S. District Courthouse prior to a hearing on their class action lawsuit against the Department of Agriculture. John Francis Ficara




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James Marable shows the strain after returning to the family farm after having met with local USDA officials. John Francis Ficara




Enlarge

Jerry Singleton, 81 years old and last generation farmer, returns "Tat" to a grazing pasture after some light plowing. Singleton continues to farm 12 acres of produce, but uses an old tractor for heavier plowing. John Francis Ficara




Enlarge

Deserted Farmhouse John Francis Ficara


NPR.org, February 22, 2005 · How do you take a picture of the last moment of twilight?

Quickly! Take the photograph before that last light fades away for all time. Be careful as you take the pictures. What you capture with your eyes will have the last say on our memories.

Here are John Ficara's masterful images of a modern version of "twilight's last gleaming" -- what is left of America's heritage of strong black farmers. These photographs are taken with the care required to preserve a precious American heritage. American history is on view here. These are deeply felt memories. There is much sweetness in these pictures but also a trace of bitterness. Today, all that remains of the nation's black farmers is a few older folks working the same rich, dark southern soil as their forefathers.

Just as slavery is now long gone, today's black farmers are on the edge of disappearing past twilight into darkness. Now John Ficara's photographs preserve their image -- the distant echo of so much that has gone before. The beauty of these pictures is in the wealth of memory. It is also in the strength of the few black farmers still at work. They are now touchstones of all American life, like the patriots of the Revolutionary War; the cowboys of the Old West; or the trailblazers who settled the Pacific coast.

Images of emotional faces and determined eyes of the few black farmers that remain today evoke America's original sin -- slavery -- and its aftermath, sharecropping, liens, and peonage. Every image takes us back to the not-too-distant days of Jim Crow segregation.

Each photograph articulates the paradox facing black farmers: what looks like slavery is, in fact, the most courageous form of economic self-determination, and what looks like "the simple life" is, in fact, a profoundly complex and risky economic undertaking. Planting and harvesting, crop rotation, fertilizers, pests, insecticides, drought, pricing vagaries, Cleveland Jackson's decrepit sugar-cane harvester, replaceable only at a cost of well over two hundred thousand dollars -- there is little here that can be called simple. And now, at the start of the twenty-first century, that golden legacy of black farmers has all but faded to silence. Only faint light and distant echoes remain -- very few black farmers still working their acres like brave warriors in a battle with economics and racism that they refuse to lose. These heroes remain as a reminder to the nation of so many others who were pushed off their land or gave up when they could not get the loans or subsidies. And it was not only a lack of money that handicapped them. Black farmers often did not get the expert help they needed to succeed as farming became a business of chemical fertilizers, crop rotations, and foreign markets. The beauty of these remaining black farmers, their strength and power, is now down to a precious few. Their every remaining moment hangs in the air like an echo.

As each small farm depicted here is abandoned or sold off, more than the land is lost. The idea of the strong, black family reaches back to the days immediately after slavery ended. The best black families shared in the struggle to survive, to accumulate wealth and advance as the equal of white people. This is the same idea behind the Kibbutz in Israel and the youthful communes of the 1960s. The black farm is a symbol rich in these democratic ideals even today. It is a Garden of Eden in the African American memory where the first free black slaves, after the Civil War, worked to regain the humanity that had been robbed from them in slavery. This deep memory is at the core of the black experience. And yet, as more and more black farmers disappear, the reality of the black farmer is fading. What we see today are only faded images and echoes.

Among the black farmers pictured here are people determined to continue their family tradition. Their struggles will be arduous, but surely no more arduous than the long road from slavery, to forty acres and a mule, to putting four children through college on farm income, as James Davis Sr. was able to do in the 1950's and 60's.

Forty Acres and a Mule

Old, tangled roots tie black Americans to the nation's farmland. Black labor on Southern plantations formed the backbone of the nation's first economy, an agricultural economy. Slave labor provided the cheap cotton that set in motion the textile factories at the beginning of the industrial age and the rise of the American economy to the best in the world.

With the end of slavery, freed blacks began a struggle of biblical proportions to gain land and enjoy the same economic rewards as whites. At the heart of that gospel lay the failed promise of "Forty Acres and a Mule," which had its genesis in General William T. Sherman's Special Field Order Number 15, issued on January 16, 1865. The general's command allowed former slaves to begin farming on land abandoned by fleeing Confederate soldiers. In March of that year, the Congress authorized General Sherman to rent out the land and supply as many plow mules as possible to the new farmers.

At that time, life for most of the four million freed black people was desperate as they pushed away from the South and slave plantations with no clear idea of where to go and often with no food. In the words of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, "I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom -- I was a stranger in a strange land." Many of the former slaves eventually returned to their old plantations, their spirits broken. They resumed working as field hands on farms, laboring under the same conditions as they had when they were slaves.

In this atmosphere of fear, poverty, and confusion, the promise of "Forty Acres and a Mule" was seen as a sign of God's own deliverance. The offer created a sensation among the nation's black population, which reacted as if Moses had parted the waters to the Promised Land. They could finally see a place in America where they could be self-sufficient and determine their own future. These newly liberated citizens generally had no resources or education, and farming was the one business that they knew firsthand. In the first six months after General Sherman offered the land to emancipated slaves, 40,000 black people settled on more than 400,000 acres of farmland along the eastern coast, including the Sea Islands off South Carolina and coastland in Georgia and Florida. General Sherman gave speeches trumpeting this land as a first step for freed slaves -- a way to feed themselves and their families and even as a way to earn money by selling produce. As an added benefit, the rent they paid helped to support the Freedmen's Bureau.

But in May of 1865, the glimmer of hope faded even for the lucky black people who had received land and an animal with which it could be plowed. President Lincoln had been assassinated, and his successor, Andrew Johnson, ordered General Sherman to return the land to its Confederate owners as part of the effort to rebuild relations between the federal government and the defeated South. Thus, the offer of "Forty Acres and a Mule" vanished into the status of legend, becoming a catch-phrase for all the broken promises the government has ever made to black people.

Landowners at Last

Despite Johnson's decree, some former slaves made a way where there seemed to be none and obtained land to farm. To them, ownership of a farm meant more than owning a business: the deed to the land signified the end of their days as slaves, as sharecroppers, as workers for someone else. It was true emancipation -- no one could confuse a slave with a landowner. To be a landowner meant status as a voter, taxpayer, and citizen. Thus, possession of land represented a defiant step toward racial equality with white farmers, who had constituted the heart of the ruling class in the early 1800s southland. Now, for the first time, blacks controlled their own future and fate.

The land offered a promise to future generations, too. No matter what misfortune or oppression might come (short of God's wrath of drought and pestilence), the family could support itself -- raise its own food, tend its own pigs and chickens, and pass on that security to children and grandchildren.

The farm, then, went beyond land and ownership. To a black man or woman it was a ticket to self-sufficiency, as well as a sign of having arrived in the eyes of their neighbors and themselves. The black farmer, working hard for his own, became the living symbol of the strong, independent black man. Farming also allowed black families to move into other businesses, from funeral homes to preaching to construction, and thus served as the bedrock of all black wealth in America.

Discrimination at the USDA

The broken promise of "Forty Acres and a Mule" would be compounded in post–Civil War America by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which Lincoln had founded in 1862. The racial tensions over slavery had spread from the political arena like a fungus among the 2,500 agricultural offices that had been established in various communities to help farmers. Called the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA), these offices reflected local political power and the racial callousness of federal officials. In most cases black farmers lacked the education, money, or political connections to wield any influence in the community's FmHA branch. As a result, the Agriculture Department's own records show that black farmers' requests for help generally received scant consideration. Instead, the white southerners in charge gave first priority to helping white farmers, especially those who held large farms and were politically connected.

Fear also played a role in discouraging black farmers from seeking assistance from the local agricultural office. With good reason they worried about making their financial information available to local white farmers, many of whom stood ready to make a grab for their land and force them to work as sharecroppers or even day-laborers on larger, white-owned parcels.

Today, black farmers call the U.S. Department of Agriculture the "last plantation." In 1982 th Civil Rights Commission concluded that decades of bias against black farmers by the agriculture department threatened to kill off the few remaining black farmers. As recently as 1997, an internal audit conducted by the Agriculture Department concluded that in the southeastern United States, loan applications from black farmers took three times as long to be processed as loan requests from white farmers. It found that blacks in need of financial support met "bias, hostility, greed, ruthlessness and indifference." Black officials at the Agriculture Department's headquarters in Washington told the Washington Post in the 1990s that the department continued to be a "hotbed of racial bias and harassment." They openly expressed exasperation at the difficulty of trying to change such a deeply insulated and racist system. Clearly, this fight was over more than farms. It was a strike against a sick culture festering with antipathy to people of color. This sinful history stretched back to the day President Lincoln created the Agriculture Department in 1862. Only a few months later he signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, freeing four million black slaves.

Decline of the Family Farm

In 1920 more than half of all black people in America lived on farms, mostly in the South. By comparison, only one quarter of white Americans lived on farms across the United States. That year, black Americans made up 14 percent of all the farmers in the nation and worked 16 million acres of land. By 2003, they accounted for less than 1 percent of the nation's farmers and cultivated less than .003 percent of the farmland. Today, battling the onslaught of globalization, changing technology, an aging workforce, racist lending policies, and even the U.S. Department of Agriculture itself, black farmers number below 18,000, and they till fewer than 3 million acres. Inside these statistics is a staggering story of human loss: when each farm closed, those farmers' spouses and children and grandchildren, and the people they hired, all had to leave a way of life.

Admittedly, these were tough times for all small farmers, black and white. Fifty-five percent of white farmers went out of business during the period of 1940 -- 1978, while larger, corporate farms came to dominate food production and sales. Most benefits from government subsidies and access to international markets accrued to the corporate farms, operations larger than 1500 acres, which accounted for more than 83 percent of all U.S. farm products. The average black farmer, in contrast, was cultivating fewer than 120 acres in 1992, and half were hardly surviving on 50 acres and under. Far more often than their white peers, black farmers failed during that period of crushing economic pressure because the USDA forced them to the back of the line when every American farmer was desperate for subsidies to buffer them against changes in the farming business. Between 1985 and 1994, black farmers -- 47 percent of whom had gross sales under $2,500 -- averaged only $10,188 in yearly subsidies, less than a third of the average support payments given to white farmers, who were grossing almost four times as much in sales.

Barely making a living and often working their small piece of land to the point of depletion, many black farmers sought to buy improved seed, better machinery, or additional acreage to maximize their yield. But they lacked the necessary collateral in the form of land to secure loans from commercial banks, some of which were run by segregationists. And when the government, the final safety net, denied the black farmers' requests for loans or subsidies, their only option, in the words of the Civil Rights Commission, was to risk losing all by taking out personal loans at usurious interest rates. And it was not only a lack of money that handicapped black farmers: they seldom received the expert advice needed to succeed as farming became a business of chemical fertilizers, crop rotations, and foreign markets.

Gary Grant

Many black farmers literally died trying to hold their ground against these corrupt social forces. It is a story all too familiar to Gary Grant's family, who initiated the longest running lawsuit against the Agriculture Department. The Grants owned one of the larger and more successful farms, black or white, in Halifax County, North Carolina. Despite storms and drought that had bedeviled the area for three years, the Grant farm was still somehow making a go of it until the government denied loans to the family. Without the loan the Grant farm went into foreclosure. At that point, Grant's parents, Matthew and Florenza, sued the former Farmers Home Administration, now the Farm Service Agency, for racial discrimination: of the twelve farm families denied loans, ten were black and two were white.

Grant, fresh out of college at the time, remembers the emotional puzzle of watching loan agents tell his father, a farmer who had survived all manner of natural disasters, that he didn't know how to till the land. Grant and his five siblings, also in disbelief at what was happening, had made the difficult trek into the loan agency to support their father. But the show of family support didn't matter. The loan was still denied. "The day we sat and watch my father be told that there was nothing he could do, that was the worst. He was an honest man and a good Christian, all he wanted to do was pay his debt," Grant reflects. "It didn't make any difference who he brought in to help, they were going to buy him out, an officer told my father."

Later, the Agriculture Department attempted to foreclose with a brutal force that still chills the Grant family. In the early pre-dawn hours, the family heard six eighteen-wheelers approach the farm to remove all its equipment. Almost every marshal in the county accompanied the agricultural officials. The sight of the county's most successful black farmer losing his machinery attracted the attention of local television crews. The story was simple: the Grants were fighting the U.S. government for their farm's survival. The family never did quit the fight. Eventually the federal government offered a monetary settlement, but the family refused, saying the offer was simply too little and too late. In 2001, Grant's parents passed away without ever seeing a dime from the government.

The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association

With his parents' death, Gary Grant stepped up his crusade to educate black farmers about their rights. Some had been afraid to be seen with the Grants because of their lawsuit against the U.S. government; still others were held back by their own superstitions (many older black farmers were afraid even to write their wills because they thought that doing so might lead to their death). All of these factors -- lack of information about rights, fear, and superstition -- combined to accelerate the demise of black farming. Denied the government aid that was rightfully theirs, black farmers were forced to sell off to large corporations and move their families to the city.

Grant decided there was strength in organizing black farmers, and he founded the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association. In 1997, over one thousand black farmers demonstrated their collective power when they banded together to file suit against the USDA, alleging racial bias in the government's procedure for distributing farm loans and subsidies between 1981 and 1996.

The lawsuit added to black-white tension in many southern communities. After one black farmer joined the court action, all the white people in his town stopped talking to him. "Everyone thinks we wanted something for nothing," he said of white neighbors who thought nothing of allowing his business to fail for want of fair treatment but resented his decision to fight for his farm. They charged he was playing the race card, as if race had nothing to do with the predicament of black farmers. Indeed, some black people in those small southern towns questioned whether the lawsuit's direct challenge to the system might lead to Ku Klux Klan style retribution. So tense was the situation that Reverend Joseph Lowery, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and once an aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., hailed the black farmers who brought the lawsuit as heroes as daring as the bravest American pioneers. The detailed charges they outlined in the court case, Lowery said, also sent an important "message to the nation that the good ol' boy network is still alive and sick as ever."

In 1999 a federal judge found that the suit had merit and ordered the USDA to pay millions in claims to the black farmers. Under the settlement, black farmers who could prove that they were denied loans because of racial bias were eligible to receive $50,000 and have some taxes and debts forgiven; those able to show extensive damage were eligible for even larger settlements. Three years later, nearly 13,000 black farmers had been paid $623 million, and loans worth more than $17.2 million had been forgiven.

But another 8,500 black farmers, or 40 percent of the claimants, had their requests for financial settlements rejected. And judges for the U.S. Court of Appeals said that the plaintiffs' lawyers, who had been paid $15 million in fees, had created a "double betrayal" by often failing to meet deadlines and improperly filing legal papers so that many farmers who should have shared in the settlement received nothing. Those who did make it past the lawyers and over the bureaucratic hurdles often found that the one-time payments were too little to keep them going. Too many of the farmers were too far in debt and still lacked the credit or subsidies needed to succeed. Even the historic settlement with the government -- compensation for all their pain and loss -- often proved to be just another nail in the coffin of black American farmers.

The Young People Have Left

Today, so few black farmers remain that they are a rarity, specks of gold in a mine stripped bare long ago. The solitary, hard-pressed farmer still defiantly working his land has wrinkles not only from worry over money but from age: the young people have left. By 1994, 94 percent of the black farmers remaining were over thirty-five years old, and 35 percent were over sixty-five. The people now remaining on the land demonstrate a fierce attachment to farming as a way of black life. One half of those with their hands still covered in the good earth a decade ago said farming was their principle occupation despite the low wages. Congresswoman Eva Clayton, a North Carolina Democrat, once told reporters that most of the remaining black farmers are "farming out of tradition, now -- not to make a living." Black people are no longer even the biggest minority group in the American farm business: Native Americans hold that honor, with 87 percent of the farmland operated by American minorities now in their hands.

Rosa Murphy

In the summer of 2005, ninety-one-year-old Rosa Murphy looks like a ghost from the past of black farming as she sits on the porch of her farmhouse in Brooks County, Georgia. With a visitor standing by she sorts vegetables, looking for the good ones. As a child, Rosa rode bareback across the farm where her parents worked as sharecroppers. When she married Eddie Lee, a fellow child of sharecroppers, they shared a yearning to own land that they and their families had bled and sweated upon for generations. In 1938 the couple took great pride in buying acreage that had been worked with slave labor; now it instead held a promise of prosperity and happiness that could be passed on to their descendants. At home she was surrounded by family and neighboring black farmers who supported each other through hard times. "We may not have been the most well off, but at least we always had plenty of food," she recalls.

Murphy never imagined that way of life would disappear so quickly. Sadly she tells a visitor that her neighbors, her children, her grandchildren have all moved away from the land. Of her twelve children who were born there, only four even remain in the county. When family and friends visit, they can't understand her abiding attachment to the land. "It's real sad to see how people have almost stopped even trying to farm," she says. And with the farm's irrigation system damaged by lightning, little hope remains for Murphy to make money as a farmer. She doesn't even think about asking the government for money to rebuild the irrigator. As she puts it, no one is going to give a loan to an old woman like her. All she wants is to pay off her bills before she dies. A religious woman, she prays to the Lord for help every day. "It was more than just love with the land, it was a livelihood. It was my life," Murphy whispers.

Today's remaining black farmers, unwavering in their determination to cultivate their own land and master their economic fate, open our eyes to the past as well as to the future. John Ficara's photographs afford us a unique angle for understanding why slaves freed after the Civil War sacrificed everything to buy land and become independent farmers. We experience their love of the land as a way of life, a life that will endure only if our society can muster the economic means to support small business owners in this most essential undertaking of feeding a country.

The artistry of Ficara's lens and his genius at portraiture are exceptional. With this book his contribution to photography as both an art form and a documentary medium is secure. But no less remarkable is his choice of subject matter: working the land is an archetypal image of humanity, the idealized pastoral life having captured the imagination of painters and poets for centuries. In the story of African American farming there is much bitterness and betrayal, but in these photographs that pastoral idealism is not entirely stripped away. We see evidence of America's on-going struggle with race; with the economic differences between white and black America. These images offer silent testimony to the sorrow and sense of loss at the heart of black America's cry for fairness.

These pictures are timeless and speak to the best virtues of the American heart.

Here is a golden twilight to treasure -- the story of black American farmers.

Copyright (c) 2006 by The University Press of Kentucky. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
NS:

But you ain't suppose to know that, NS. Many of these Blacks Farmers in the forefront today never "Plowed a Mule", or went near one, or know what one looks like. They are "Cityslickers" with an Ancestory Link to the Black Farm, trying to get paid for farmland where there was never any significant amount of farming ever taking place, but you didn't hear that from me. Any Money Settlements that takes place, the bulk of which will go to the "Handlers", Lawyers, and very little going to the "So called, Farmer"

leart
He is just another stupid white person that does not know a damn thing about Black people other than what somebody told him, therefore, how could he possibly know what the hell he is talking about, because if he did he would not be making ignorant ass statements like the one he just did.

Now, what is the definition of a sociopath/psychopath?
Last edited {1}
NS:

I don't know if you know it or not, but Blacks had a significant amount of Land in the South, long after Reconstruction. Most all of that Land has been taken by Whites for little or nothing. In many cases for failure to pay Taxes.

We, as Blacks never assumed the responsibility for developing the land and making it productive for our own ise. We just let it lay, mostly unattended and with little or no Crop Production, even for personal use.

If Black had worked to develope the land, selling and Bartening the Crops among themselves, Blacks would have had a more advanced, and selfsufficient history. However, many of the Blacks migrated to the Industrial North for good paying jobs, and a "better" life.

It seems to me if Blacks had developed the Farms, created small Markets in their Communities where these Products could be sold, the Black Community would be more stable today, and Black Business would have flourished independepent of the larger Society.

Blacks wouldn't have to be as dependent on the Larger Society for it's total livelyhood as they do today. Blacks have allowed itself to become a dependent element of this Society, but they always get the least benefits, and I don't see any changes in the near or distant future, President Obama notwithstanding.

leart
The "skinny" on the Black Farmer is the same that other Black Businesses experience, descrimination in the marketplace.

Historically Black Businesses have always been denied Loans from Banks because they lack the Business Plan to pay the Loan back. As I indicated earlier, Banks won't lend money to a Business Person when there is no contractual agreement with someone that the Product that will be produced will be bought, or there is an excessive need in a Residential Community for such a Product, and it can be sold to the Bank, on paper.

Bank wont lend money to buy Farm Equipment to produce Crops when there is nothing to show how the Crops will or if they can be sold. The reason those White People get these loans is that they are working with their own people who will buy from them, but most people know these Distibutors won't buy from Blacks, and most Large Retailers wont either.

Many of these White Businesses will act like they will work with you, but in no time flat they will start finding fault with your product, and start working away from you, and the Bank will be stuck with a lot of wortthless Paper on unused Farm Equipment, and the Loan is not being paid. That can happens with Whites Farmers also, but it's much more likely to happen with Blacks. Blacls have to create their own enclosed Economy that does not depend solely on the larger society for it's existence.

It's not by accident that the only development that takes place in Urban Communities are that which is created by Whites. Little or no Development or Business Activiity involves Black ownership and almost none of the Construction Activities are preformed by Blacks.

A few "Household" Blacks think they are in Hog Heaven while Blacks are being systematically eliminated all around them. Blacks have less investment and ownership in the Black Community than they did 20 years ago. But most of the Blacks are so busy looking for the next hit on that Crack Pipe they don't know what end is up. They don't even know that there are no Jobs out here in general, but in reality jobs are not out here for them. The NFL had it's draft day saturday/sunday, and one coach made his selection based on "Character of the players", rather than being the best at his position at the time of the pick.

I think many Sports Fans will be watching to see how this plays out a year or two down the road, and whether it creates a trend. The NFL could create a League of mediocre performers hopeing someone pays to see them play.So Blacks should just hold on since being unproductive might be a thing of the future.

leart
“I don't know if you know it or not, but Blacks had a significant amount of Land in the South, long after Reconstruction. Most all of that Land has been taken by Whites for little or nothing. In many cases for failure to pay Taxes.”

Most Black people already know that Blacks owned a large amount of land in this country after reconstruction. However, I doubt that failure to pay ‘taxes’ was ever the primary reason, or even a minor reason that so much of that land left Black ownership.
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We, as Blacks never assumed the responsibility for developing the land and making it productive for our own ise. We just let it lay, mostly unattended and with little or no Crop Production, even for personal use”.

Again, speaking from speculation instead of knowledge. Let me see, the land that has been in our family since after slavery is still in the family, that land has been farmed, had hogs raised on it, generations born and raised on it, had cotton planted on it-which was sold to local cotton mills; has been willed, divided and handed down through probate, some of which was sold to a very large manufacturing plant (which will remain nameless) long before I was born, some of which has been sold to real-estate developers along the way and some developed and maintained as real-estate investments to this day.
_______________________________________________________



If Black had worked to develope the land, selling and Bartening the Crops among themselves, Blacks would have had a more advanced, and selfsufficient history. However, many of the Blacks migrated to the Industrial North for good paying jobs, and a "better" life.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The big blank spot you have your scenario is the fact that a many Blacks were burned to death, threatened, and run off their land. Do you honestly think that the only thing racist whites and the KKK wanted was for Blacks to just not live near them, etc? The great migration to the north was the primary reason the amount of land Black owned started to dwindle-- --where thousands of Blacks just picked up and left the south in search of jobs and fleeing racism.
_________________________________________________________


It seems to me if Blacks had developed the Farms, created small Markets in their Communities where these Products could be sold, the Black Community would be more stable today, and Black Business would have flourished independepent of the larger Society.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It seems to me that if Blacks had not been constantly discriminated against, terrorized, lynched, murdered, and swindled, by racist whites, more of that would have been the case.


Blacks wouldn't have to be as dependent on the Larger Society for it's total livelyhood as they do today. Blacks have allowed itself to become a dependent element of this Society, but they always get the least benefits, and I don't see any changes in the near or distant future, President Obama notwithstanding.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Please explain how Blacks (of all people) have been a dependent ‘element’ in this society; the same society that primarily has turned it’s back on or terrorized the hell out of Black for the majority of time we have been in this country have always been dependent on that same society? If Blacks, of all people in this country have only been ‘dependent’ on society, then, how is it that we have survived what this ‘society’ has tried to do to us for the past 400 years, during slavery, during reconstruction, during jim crow, etc?
quote:
Originally posted by leart:
The "skinny" on the Black Farmer is the same that other Black Businesses experience, descrimination in the marketplace.

Historically Black Businesses have always been denied Loans from Banks because they lack the Business Plan to pay the Loan back. As I indicated earlier, Banks won't lend money to a Business Person when there is no contractual agreement with someone that the Product that will be produced will be bought, or there is an excessive need in a Residential Community for such a Product, and it can be sold to the Bank, on paper.

Bank wont lend money to buy Farm Equipment to produce Crops when there is nothing to show how the Crops will or if they can be sold. The reason those White People get these loans is that they are working with their own people who will buy from them, but most people know these Distibutors won't buy from Blacks, and most Large Retailers wont either.

Many of these White Businesses will act like they will work with you, but in no time flat they will start finding fault with your product, and start working away from you, and the Bank will be stuck with a lot of wortthless Paper on unused Farm Equipment, and the Loan is not being paid. That can happens with Whites Farmers also, but it's much more likely to happen with Blacks. Blacls have to create their own enclosed Economy that does not depend solely on the larger society for it's existence.

It's not by accident that the only development that takes place in Urban Communities are that which is created by Whites. Little or no Development or Business Activiity involves Black ownership and almost none of the Construction Activities are preformed by Blacks.

A few "Household" Blacks think they are in Hog Heaven while Blacks are being systematically eliminated all around them. Blacks have less investment and ownership in the Black Community than they did 20 years ago. But most of the Blacks are so busy looking for the next hit on that Crack Pipe they don't know what end is up. They don't even know that there are no Jobs out here in general, but in reality jobs are not out here for them. The NFL had it's draft day saturday/sunday, and one coach made his selection based on "Character of the players", rather than being the best at his position at the time of the pick.

I think many Sports Fans will be watching to see how this plays out a year or two down the road, and whether it creates a trend. The NFL could create a League of mediocre performers hopeing someone pays to see them play.So Blacks should just hold on since being unproductive might be a thing of the future.

leart




Leart, where are you getting this information from?
quote:
Originally posted by leart:

But most of the Blacks are so busy looking for the next hit on that Crack Pipe they don't know what end is up.



Why don't you seem to be aware that whites account for the majority of drug use not only in raw numbers but percentagewise too? You think rural blacks who are farmers and landowners are sitting around smoking crack pipes? what! You think black farmers are a hoodlum element, WTF? 17

Do you actually know any black farmers? or Landowners?

Leart, i can't believe you are peddling this ...
quote:
Originally posted by leart:

The NFL could create a League of mediocre performers hopeing someone pays to see them play.So Blacks should just hold on since being unproductive might be a thing of the future.

leart



Oh, I see, you all about that "blacks are dysfunctional" bs
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:

He is just another stupid white person that does not know a damn thing about Black people other than what somebody told him, therefore, how could he possibly know what the hell he is talking about, because if he did he would not be making ignorant ass statements like the one he just did.

Now, what is the definition of a sociopath/psychopath?



Ya know, i think you're right. Who else would peddle that Black = Dysfunctional BS and have no apparent clue about black farmers?
Your Post is too long for me to comment fully, but to make one statement on that last paragraph, I know very few Blacks who earn a liveable wage from a Black Business Firm.

It might be news to you but Blacks employ almost none of it's own people, they all work for the larger Society, and their continued employment is solely dependent on members of the Larger non-Black Society.We don't call the shots, they do.

In my City, Blacks don't own a major Store of any kind. Nor do we own any Banks. I go into the Hospitals where I see almost no Black Doctors, a few Nurses, and there are very few Blacks operating the X-Ray Equipment. There are many Technical Jobs in the Hospital that Blacks don't even try to train for.

They do very little of the Construction Work anywhere, and that's only the results of government Contracts. Blacks are dependent on the larger Society for everything they get because they don't produce or control anything. They have to go to the "White" Man to get anything, that's "Dependency". Maybe you might desire to call it something else, but that's your option.

leart
quote:
Originally posted by leart:
NS:

You must not be spending any time on the Street either. I just picked that up off the "Block".

leart



I know black farmers in the american south and none of your descriptions of them are accurate.

and this line right here:

quote:
They do very little of the Construction Work anywhere, and that's only the results of government Contracts.
is absolute BS probably gleaned off television sitcoms.

The fact that you believe Black Farmers in the south are suffering from a crack epidemic ruins any credibility you may have been afforded on the issue of Black Farmers.
NS:

I'm not in the South anymore, so I don't know any Farmers. I have a few Relativs in various States in the South, but they aren't Farmers either.

Even when I lived in the South we didn't farm, there was no "Man" in our house where I grew up. Nor was there any Land to farm. We just crammed into a shanny on a small lot, and made do with what was there, which was hardly nothing. My Grandmother was the only one that worked, and she make $10 a Week cleaning up at the Bank.

My Brother and I use to go to the Country on weekends to play Baseball, and that was the closest we came to a Farm. When we were small Childrens we had two or three Chickens in the backyard, but they didn't last long, we soon ate them. So that's all I know about farming.

In recent years I know of several individual who have went back South, some with a History of Drug activity, and they are scattered in various States in the south. I don't communicate with them, they are just distant relatives.

leart
NS:

I don't know, NS, what do you think? That Coach that did the "Drafting" of Players as I indicated earlier, indicated that one Player in particular acted like a "Diva", and he spreaded the word to other Coaches in the League which caused the Player to drop further down in the Draft Ranking, from #5 to #10.

I haven't heard anything about it, but the Coach may have made a silly tactical error that might end up in court, and the League also has a right to Fine the Coach for his display of collusion in the draft process. NS, I think you are right, i've taken this thread to another topic. So I'd better bow out.

leart
Obama to Propose $1.25 Billion for Black Farmers

Date: Thursday, May 07, 2009, 1:58 pm
By: Ben Evans, Associated Press




WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing that the government provide $1.25 billion to settle discrimination claims by black farmers against the Agriculture Department.

The White House said the money would be included in the president's 2010 budget request to be unveiled Thursday.

Obama had taken criticism earlier this year from black farmers and lawmakers who said the federal government was neglecting the need for more money to fund claims under a decade-old class-action lawsuit against the government.

In a statement, Obama said the proposed settlement funds would "close this chapter" in the agency's history and allow it to move on.

"My hope is that the farmers and their families who were denied access to USDA loans and programs will be made whole and will have the chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses," he said.

John Boyd, who has spearheaded the litigation as head of the National Black Farmers Association and has been particularly critical of Obama recently, called the proposal a "step in the right direction."

But he said more money would be needed.



"We think this is a good step in the negotiating process. We're glad to know this issue is on the president's radar screen and we commend him for taking this step," he said. But "we need to make sure that none of the black farmers are left out."

At issue is the class-action Pigford lawsuit, named after Timothy Pigford, a black farmer from North Carolina who was among the original plaintiffs. Thousands of farmers sued USDA claiming they had for years been denied government loans and other assistance that routinely went to whites. The government settled in 1999 and has paid out nearly $1 billion in damages on almost 16,000 claims.

Since then, other farmers have pushed to reopen the case because they missed deadlines for filing. Many said they didn't know that damages were available.

Last year, Congress passed a proposal sponsored by then-Sen. Obama and others to give more farmers a chance at a settlement. But the measure included a budget of only $100 million — far short of what is likely needed. With an estimated 65,000 additional claims, some estimate the case could cost the government another $2 billion or $3 billion.

While Obama's proposal represents a marked shift from the Bush administration, which had fought paying new claims, it was unclear how the plan might be received on Capitol Hill. Many lawmakers think the payments should not be capped and that the government should pay however much it costs to resolve successful claims.

Earlier this week, Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Kay Hagan, D-N.C., introduced legislation that would allow access to an unlimited judgment fund at the Department of Treasury to pay successful claims

"I don't know other fields of litigation where there's a limit on the payments," Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., said Wednesday, speaking before the White House announced the proposal.

Most claimants in the original case opted to seek expedited payments that required a relatively low burden of proof. The payments were $50,000 plus $12,500 in tax breaks.
quote:
Originally posted by EbonyRose:
Obama to Propose $1.25 Billion for Black Farmers

Date: Thursday, May 07, 2009, 1:58 pm
By: Ben Evans, Associated Press




WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing that the government provide $1.25 billion to settle discrimination claims by black farmers against the Agriculture Department.




well i'll be damned ek I can hardly believe it.

If black farmers can access these funds and ACTUALLY farm, that would be powerful. The power to cultivate crops and foodstuffs independently of AGRIBUSINESS is political capital (to me)

I hope they organize around that.
I hope they reach some final area of agreement. The only thing I'm uncomfortable about is that these Funds, just like other Funds paid to other Blacks never get around to benefiting Blacks as a People.

The Land didn't benefit Blacks, and now the absence of these Funds, at the time they were needed which didn't allow for the Land to be productive will be available now. But how will it be distributed, how will it be used, and if it will benefit the Black Community at the end of this process?

I would assume that most of the Claims involve Blacks, and their decendents who have no current ties to farmland, and are mostly "City People" who will just turn around and give that money to the Benz Dealer and the "White" expensive House Seller in the Burb's. With little, if any of that money putting food on any Black Tables.

leart
quote:
Originally posted by leart:

I would assume that most of the Claims involve Blacks, and their decendents who have no current ties to farmland, and are mostly "City People" who will just turn around and....

leart



Why would you assume that? Confused

Do you not believe that BLACK FARMERS actually exist? Confused
NS:

We all hope that Blacks could be an independent Producer of anything commercially, farm products are no exception. As I indicated earlier, I don't know nothing about no farming, and I don't know the difference in the fromt end of a Mule from the back end, but I think I fall in the middle of the Pack of most Blacks, or most Americans for that manner.

Unless you live in one of those Farm States like Iowa or Nebraska, etc., where the Corporate Farm pretty much run the Farm Industry, you are on the outside looking in. Consequently there is no way for a small farmer to get into that busines to compete unless they had a very intelligently designed "Farm to Market" Infrastructure, and the logistics to support such a program.

You have Transportation, Dairy, Fruit and Vegatable issues that requires a lot of expertise, and you have to have a "Chain" of Business Firms that could support that efford. But at the same time all of that has to take place before you get to Market, and there are few, if any Blacks involved in that Chain, and yet fewer involved at the end of the line, which are the Retailers, or Supermarkets.

However, I do agree that the development of such a program is a way the Black Farmer should have went years ago when Indipendent Farming was a possibility, but maybe it can be brought back. But I think, in order for that to happen, the Black Farmer, if there are any who are active, has to start small and if they are in line for any of these Funds, develop some Retail Outlets for their Products in their Communities, and start growing their Produucts, Processing them, and selling them in their Stores and expand from there. Kinda like a "Farmers Market" with a combination of the Mom/Pop concept. They could control the product diversity, the expansion, and retraction of goods and infrastructure.

I haven't seen any data indicating how many Black Farmers are currently, "Commercial" Farmers, and how much are they currently producing, selling, and to whom.

leart
NS:

In reality, the only Farmers that's viable today are "Corporate" Farmers, or large Commercial Farmers. Also sometimes called "Argi-Businesses". They supply most of the Food Products grown in this Country today.

Don't forget that, other than a few apples and oranges, all of our Fruits are Imported. Mostly all of the Food that gets into the Supermarket are through these Distributors who handle the Argi-Business Products.

A Supermarket don't have the Shelf Space to stock everybody's Products, so they have to stock the ones being pushed by the big companies, because they sell faster because of national Ad Programs.

But as I indicated in my other Post, if you know of any significant number of Black Farmers producing anything Commercially, and suppling any meaningful mumber of Retail Businesses, you should post that Data. I know of one or two Sausage Making Firms that have been around for several years. I don't know if the buy their meat from Packing houses of the own a small Pig farm somewhere, but It seems as if they are a City processing facility. I know of one or two Bar B Q Sauses that carry Label of being Black Owned, but many products of this type are made by whites, just like the "Hair Grease".

What i'm trying to say is that there are few, if any Blacks that are delivering food products from Farm to Market. As I was saying about the Fruit, Most of our Meat is imported, maybe other than Pork, but Blacks don't own any Commercial "Pigfarms" that I know of, but I don't know everything.

leart

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