5 days ago
#REPOST @shane.hrmn Reposted from @motherjonesmag Since the inception of the United States, the government has helped make sure land stays in white hands. In the decades after slavery ended, Black Americans accumulated a substantial amount of farmland. According to the Land Loss and Reparations Project, they owned around 20 million acres by 1910. And by 1920, roughly 14 percent of the country’s farmers were Black. But that turned out to be the peak. “During and after the New Deal, [people] became enamored with getting Black people off the land. And that’s what they set out to do,” historian Pete Daniel, author of Dispossession: Discrimination Against African American Farmers in the Age of Civil Rights, told reporter Bryce Stucki, an analyst with the Land Loss and Reparations Project. As Daniel explained, “the loss of land is connected with this whole apparatus that favors white people.” Over the next century, government policy, systemic racism, and rampant discrimination within the department of agriculture forced most Black farmers away from the trade. Since then, the portion of farmers who are Black has plunged to just 1.4 percent. The same trend holds true for other farmers of color, whose numbers were winnowed down over time as a result of racist lending practices and a history of laws crafted in a deliberate effort to rob them of their property. According to the most recent USDA data, in 2017, just 2.3 percent of the 3.4 million farmers in the US identify as Native American or Alaskan Native, and less than 1 percent identify as Asian American. Change may finally be afoot. In recent years, Native communities have catalyzed the Landback movement to advocate for the return of land to the stewardship of Native people. And a few recent policy efforts show a rising awareness of the inequities plaguing Black and Brown farmers. McDaniel and Guzman highlight some key moments in American history when farmers of color were forced off land. Link in our bio to read. #unitedstates #usa #usahistory #americanhistory #unitedstatesofamerica #america
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