Chapter

Between Forty Acres and A Class Action Lawsuit: Black Farmers, Civil Rights, and Protest against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1997–2010

Valerie Grim

in Beyond Forty Acres and a Mule

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039862
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043777 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039862.003.0013
Between Forty Acres and A Class Action Lawsuit: Black Farmers, Civil Rights, and Protest against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1997–2010

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Valerie Grim indicates that black farmers have still not won the long struggle for equal rights. In 1999, for the first time in American history, black farmers brought a successful class action law suit, Pigford v. Glickman, against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the institution they called the “Last Plantation.” For years black farmers claimed discrimination in federally funded agricultural programs (for example, Extension Service, Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service, and Farmers Home Administration). The USDA did nothing to prevent local and state agricultural agencies charged with implementation of its federal farm programs from establishing oppressive and racist operational practices and procedures. Grim claims that black farmers placed their land loss and other related agricultural and farming struggles right in the middle of the contentious civil rights struggle in the United States.

Keywords: equal rights; class action; lawsuit; “Last Plantation“; discrimination; civil rights; federal; policy; Extension Service; Pigford v. Glickman

Chapter.  11228 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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