Reclamation of Black-Owned Farmland

According to census data, there were 925,000 black farmers in 1920. By 2017, that number dropped below 50,000. Discrimination within the industry, institutionalized racism upheld by USDA agency workers, purposefully incorrect documentation of ownership transfers, the industrialization of the agriculture industry, and many more reasons lead to the decline. Plenty of banks, certification organizations, and distribution networks also actively discriminated against black farmers. The US government admitted wrongdoing in a 1999 class action suit—the largest of its kind in US history. Now, a new generation of black business-owners are returning to farms. One in particular, Soul Fire Farm, is driving up interest by hosting training sessions on organic and sustainable farming. For evidence of the trade’s rising popularity, look no further than the aforementioned program’s waitlist: three years. Read more at Vice.