July 8, 2016

Black farming comes back

 Yes Magazine

In 1920, the number of Black-operated farms peaked at nearly a million, accounting for 15 million acres of farmland—the size of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and New Jersey combined. They made up 14 percent of the country’s farmers.
The height of Black farming didn’t last. Faced with the economic and social barriers of the time and decades of racist and discriminatory policies, Black farmers spent the next century in decline. By 1982, their numbers were down to about 30,000—just 2 percent of the nation’s total. That same year, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights predicted that no Black farmers would remain by the year 2000. 
But today, the number of Black farmers in the United States is suddenly growing again. In 2012, there were more than 44,000 of them, up about 15 percent from 10 years earlier. Nationally, they were still less than 2 percent of the country’s farmers, but their growth is noteworthy after such an extensive decline. Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Florida all show gains, while Texas takes the lead with a gain of more than 2,500 Black farmers.

No comments: