black farmers

“Time for an Awakening” with Bro. Elliott 7-22-18 guest BFAA-Memphis Pres. Thomas Burrell


“Time For An Awakening” for Sunday 7/22/2018 at 7:00 PM  our guests was Activist, President, Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association-Memphis, Thomas Burrell and Activist, Farmer, Bishop David Hall. We learned more about the lawsuit filed by Black Farmers against the Stine seed company, for fake seeds being sold to our Farmers in the Black Belt. Hear more about this and other topics from the President of BFAA-Memphis, Mr. Thomas Burell.


Uncovering the Ruins of an Early Black Settlement in New York

 A scientific survey in 2005 of the grounds in Central Park where Seneca Village was believed to have been. Credit Mario Tama/Getty Images


A scientific survey in 2005 of the grounds in Central Park where Seneca Village was believed to have been. Credit Mario Tama/Getty Images Q. Near the West 85th Street entrance to Central Park, there is what appears to be the corner of a foundation. What was it?

A. The foundation is a testament to Seneca Village, one of the first communities of black landholders in New York, which was destroyed in 1857 to create Central Park.

In 1853, after weighing several options for a great municipal park modeled after those of London and Paris, city officials selected a mostly vacant tract of land between Fifth and Eighth Avenues, and 59th and 106th Streets.

While more than 1,600 people lived in the footprint of the future Central Park, including the nuns of the Academy of St. Vincent and a number of farmers, the nearly 300 residents of Seneca Village represented the most concentrated population.

Seneca Village was between about West 81st and 89th Streets, and what would have been Seventh and Eighth Avenues, southwest of today’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. The site is marked with a plaque honoring the community’s history.

It’s easy to see why the city picked this terrain for a park: the ground undulates, and bedrock pokes through at regular intervals. In other words, it’s not the easiest place to build the dense housing required by a growing city.

Neither housing nor open space was much of a concern in 1825, when a black shoeshiner named Andrew Williams bought three lots there; the area was several miles from the center of New York City, then concentrated below 14th Street. Several other black residents soon joined him in buying property, as did the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, whose building likely sat atop the foundation. (Seneca Village eventually boasted three churches, one of which housed Colored School No. 3.)

Library offering free class on Indiana early black settlers

The Jennings County Public Library’s Genealogy Department will kick off Black History Month with a free, public class about the county’s earliest black pioneer families.

The class is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the library, 2375 State Road 3 North, North Vernon. No registration is required.

“Since the Richland community doesn’t really exist any more, it is easy to forget the very strong black history in this community,” said Sheila Kell, director of the Genealogy Department.

Kell said there were many black families in Jennings County dating to the early 1800s.

“Some were free blacks from the beginning, and some came here after they had escaped slavery. Some families stayed here for generations and some moved on, leaving family members behind,” Kell said.

The class will cover some of the politics of the early times and family records and local events, she added.


A borderless Africa? Some countries open doors, raise hopes


Rodney Muhumza  Dec 8, 2017



KAMPALA, Uganda — For years African leaders have toyed with the idea of free movement by citizens across the continent, even raising the possibility of a single African passport.

Now some African countries are taking bold steps to encourage borderless travel that could spur trade and economic growth on a continent in desperate need of both.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta announced during his inauguration last week that the East African commercial hub will now give visas on arrival to all Africans. That follows similar measures by nations including Benin and Rwanda.

“The freer we are to travel and live with one another, the more integrated and appreciative of our diversity we will become,” Kenyatta said.

The African Union has cheered such steps, calling it the direction the 54-nation continent needs to take. “I urge all African states that have not yet done so to take similar measures,” AU Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said on Twitter after Kenya’s announcement.

Trade among African countries is at just 16 percent, while trade among European Union states is at 70 percent, Mahamat told AU trade ministers.

For a continent whose leaders often speak fondly of “African brotherhood” and once pondered the idea of a United States of Africa, the visa policies of many countries for many years suggested little progress in implementing the continent-wide, visa-free ideal advocated by the AU.

Africans can get a visa on arrival in 24 percent of African countries, yet North Americans, for example, have easier access on the continent, according to a 2017 report on visa openness by the African Development Bank. African Union figures show Africans need visas to travel to 54 percent of the continent.

Free migration of people across the continent would help in talent exchange as well as trade, said Ali Abdi, the Uganda chief of mission at the International Organization for Migration. Countries may have to invest more in border patrols but “the benefits far outweigh the costs, in my view.”

Kenya’s decision is a “good move and it’s progressive,” said Godber Tumushabe with the Uganda-based Lakes Institute for Strategic Studies. “It should have been done a long time ago.”

Change is coming, and not just in East Africa. While visiting Rwanda last year, Benin’s President Patrice Talon said his West African country would no longer require visas for other Africans. He said he was inspired by Rwanda, whose government started issuing visas on arrival to Africans in 2013 and recently announced that in 2018 citizens of all countries will benefit from the policy.

“We are happy that other African countries are opening their borders up for Africans to increase foreign investments,” said Olivier Nduhungirehe, a deputy foreign minister in Rwanda in charge of regional integration. Opening borders will spur economic prosperity for the entire continent, he said.

Some African countries are going visa-free by region first. Weeks ago, the Central African Economic and Monetary Community removed visa requirements for citizens of its six members.

Many African countries rely heavily on tourism for foreign currency. Kenya’s new visa policy was welcomed in a country where the threat by Islamic extremists based in neighboring Somalia has deterred some international travelers.

Offering visas on arrival to all Africans could attract the continent’s small but growing middle class.

“Visa-free travel for Africans into Kenya is a great move by the president and a strategic one for the tourism industry,” said Bobby Kamani, who runs the popular Diani Reef Beach Resort and Spa in the second-largest city, Mombasa. “The president’s bold move couldn’t have come at a better time when the tourism sector has experienced uncertainty and is now on recovery mode.”

Conflict and sharp income disparities in many countries are among other factors slowing the adoption of visa-free policies. Even the African Union passport, launched in July 2016 and given to some heads of state, is yet to be offered to citizens.

Some North African countries, notably Libya, struggle with a flow of impoverished African migrants trying to make their way to Europe. South Africa, one of the continent’s top economies, has seen a sometimes violent backlash against African immigrants amid fears about crime and the taking of jobs. Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country and another of its strongest economies, maintains visa requirements before arrival for many nations across the continent.

Still, many are hopeful for a borderless Africa and urge those regional leaders to follow Kenya’s lead.

“Is a new wind blowing across #Africa?” Wolfgang Thome, a tourism consultant who once led the Uganda Tourism Association, tweeted. “When will the last walls fall? #Nigeria we are waiting!”


10 Herbs You Need To Use If Diagnosed With Cancer

Black mortar and pestle with fresh picked herbs


Did you know that half of all Americans will eventually be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives? In other words, it’s only a matter of chance whether you will or won`t be one of those people.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), cancer takes 7.6 million lives every year, which makes it one of the leading causes of death. It is believed that deaths of cancer will continue to rise over 13.1 million by 2030.

For over 60 years that market has been tapped into Western medical treatment centers, which provide chemotherapy and radiation to help shrink cancer tumors. Like we’re told, cancer is random, it’s genetic, and sooner or later, it’s going to get us.

However, more and more studies suggest that accumulation of toxins in the body is the underlying cause of cancer, as it reduces cell oxygenation, damages the DNA, causes inflammation, and leads to hormone imbalance. Therefore, dealing with these toxins and diminishing their effect is the first step towards preventing its development.

Recently, multiple studies started focusing on the use of herbs for cancer prevention, even using them along with Western medical treatment.

The idea that simple plants or herbs can have anti-cancer effects is sometimes a controversial subject. Although many people have experienced their benefits, there are still a great many skeptics. For every person who believes that herbs and plants can slow or even kill cancer cells, there is another who will only believe in the merits of chemotherapy.

Here’s a list of best 10 herbs for preventing and treating cancer and how to use them:


Wheatgrass is considered a detoxifying medical herb. Health benefits include improving red blood cell count and neutralizes environmental pollutants within the body. Also, wheatgrass shows benefits in cancer prevention.

You can use wheatgrass by juicing it daily in 2oz shots. Using wheatgrass during chemotherapy has been beneficial and may reduce symptoms of myelotoxicity. Plus, wheatgrass helps to alkalize the body.

2.Grape seed extract

Several studies have shown that the phytochemicals known as proanthocyanidins in grape seeds have anti-tumor or strong potential cancer preventative abilities that can be isolated from the seeds themselves. Also, they have been found to stop cancer cells from spreading or migrating.

Grape seed extract fights pollution and Candida within our digestive tract. This extract can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions.

3.Burdock root (Arctium lappa)

Recent research shows that burdock root is very effective at removing cancer-causing toxins that accumulate in our digestive systems when certain foods are not properly digested. There are several anti-cancer herbal compounds that have used burdock root as a base including “Essiac tea formula” and “Hoxsey formula”.

Because of its strong blood purifying properties, burdock root can stop cancer cells from metastasizing. Burdock root extract can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions.

4.Licorice root

Licorice detoxifies the liver and is a soothing herb with anti-inflammatory properties. It may also be used for the treatment of Candida albicans. Licorice root contains polyphenols that encourage apoptosis (automatic death) in cancer cells. Licorice regulates the production of hormones from your adrenal glands, and it reduces stress chemicals. Chronic stress often triggers the growth of cancer cells. You can use it as a tea mixed with a teaspoon of organic raw honey.

5.Red clover

Research from a number of cancer centers including the Royal Marsden has shown its potential as a part of a treatment program against estrogen driven cancers, from breast, uterine, to the prostate. Red clover contains an active ingredient known as genistein, responsible for its anti-estrogen activity. Red clover is another ingredient in “Hoxsey formula”.

Red clover supplements are available in most health food stores as tablets, capsules or in a tincture. Dried red clover leaves are often brewed into a tea with a typical daily dose being about 4 grams of dried red clover to 30 milliliters of water.


Externally, it has been used as a home remedy for skin cancer and is possibly the most well-known anti-cancer herb around. There have been several publications showing that bloodroot has the potential to be a powerful anticancer agent. Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis) has been shown in several studies to have consistent anti-neoplastic activity; it can shrink tumors and has shown itself to be useful when dealing with sarcomas.

For internal use, mix one teaspoon bloodroot in 250 ml warm water and let it stay for 15 minutes. Drink a half of the tea in the morning and the other half in the evening.


There has been strong evidence lately that dandelion root can inhibit the development and growth of numerous types of cancer, including stopping their metastasizing capabilities. A study done in 2008 provided some scientific proof that dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) extracts had anti-cancer compounds.

Dandelion root tea or capsules can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions.


The extracts from mistletoe (Viscum album) is one of the most commonly used oncological drug in Europe. It’s been used as an overall treatment for cancer for years. In one study that involved more than 10,000 cancer patients, mistletoe extract was shown to prolong the survival time of cancer patients. Amazingly, this study showed that the overall survival time of the group that took mistletoe extract was as much as 40% longer.

Mistletoe can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions. Also, there are some products that come from mistletoe extract, especially Iscador, which is one of the most commonly used in Europe.


Echinacea is one of the most widely used alternative medicine in the world. It is said to have Cytotoxic effects. The Echinacea plant has been hailed for its ability to help the body heal itself from the common cold. Also, it is used to relieve anxiety and chronic fatigue. Echinacea has been available for years in supplements and extract form and can be used about 2 to 3 times a day. Echinacea can be also consumed as a tea.


Watercress this aquatic plant increases detoxification enzymes in the body and contains phytonutrients that have successfully inhibited carcinogens. Watercress in extract form proved to be significantly protective against colon cancer. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Center in the United Kingdom, “smokers were given watercress which eliminated higher carcinogens in their urine. Dietary factors contribute to the regional variation of stomach cancer and offer clues for further prevention research. Watercress can be found at your holistic vitamin shop and used according to directions.

Note: In order to fight cancer, you can use a combination of the herbs mentioned above!

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15 Foods With Almost No Calories And A Ton Of Nutrients


We learn the health benefits of a different nutrient almost every other day it seems. We need more antioxidants, more iron, more magnesium, but we can’t just keep eating more food.

While counting calories is now thought to be a poor approach to losing weight, we still know that we can’t eat an unlimited number. And so it becomes important to get the most nutrients possible out of the calories we do consume. In other words, we need to eat nutrient-dense foods, with plenty of nutritional value and almost no calories.

15 nutrient dense foods


Celery is the ultimate zero calorie food. Consisting of mostly water, a 100g serving contains just 16 calories. But, have in mind not to go overboard with dips or spreads or whatever topping you usually prefer.


Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It contains a lot of fiber which helps your digestive framework, and even some plant protein. There are only 34 calories in a 100gr serving.


At 52 calories per 100-gram serving, apples actually have more calories than most of the foods on this list. But filled with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, they’re more than worth it. Personally, I like to eat one as a snack between lunch and dinner to stop me from turning to something a lot less healthy.


Abounding in water, cucumbers are great for hydration and are delicious when added to a pitcher of water. They are extremely low in calories with only 16 calories per 100g and make an excellent addition to any salad.


I’m not really a big fan of oranges, but their health benefits are undeniable. Filled with vitamin C, oranges come in at just 47 calories per 100-gram serving, far fewer than many other fruits.


Cabbage has proven beneficial for fighting cancer and heart disease. It can also help with weight loss, and it has just 25 calories per 100g. Cabbage soup is an excellent way to have a healthy filling meal with very few calories.


Cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties and can help your heart and digestive system. It contains just 25 calories in a 100-gram serving and can be used to make delicious pizza crusts.


You may have hated it when you were a kid, but give it another try now that you’re an adult. Your taste buds change, so you’ll more than likely enjoy the flavor, and this nutrient-dense veggie on has 27 calories per cup!


Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods around; with just 49 calories you get a ton of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and protein. You can make kale chips, put it in a salad, or include it in wraps.


Pretty much all kinds of mushrooms are low in calories. Chanterelles have just 38 calories in a 100-gram serving, portabellas just 22. Put them in a sauce, a sauté, or even make them into a burger, they add nothing but earthy flavor and nutrients.


Apart from being beneficial for your eyesight, carrots also contain anti-inflammatory properties. They are a natural diuretic which can help balance your blood sugar levels. And they only contain 41 calories per 100g serving.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, and so have many of the same benefits, including being low in calories (just 43 per 100 grams). But they aren’t everyone’s favorite vegetable. My sister absolutely despises them.


Although sweet and juicy, watermelon is very low in calories. With just 30 in a 100gr serving and abounding in beneficial antioxidants, it really is a guilt-free treat. It’s also efficient in stimulating your metabolism.


Zucchini has just 17 calories in a 100-gram serving. I love it in a stir-fry or a pasta sauce, but you can use it in a ton of different ways, even in bread.


Onions are the starting point for a lot of different recipes. When I don’t know what I’m doing in the kitchen, I always start with frying some onions in a pan to get some flavor going. It’s nice to know that I’m not adding many calories, just 40 per 100 grams. They also contain beneficial flavonoids.

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Black Farmers Continue Pressing USDA and Obama Administration and Supreme Court for Justice.

By Barrington M. Salmon Aug. 7, 2016

For more than two decades, Black farmers have driven tractors to Capitol Hill and walked the halls of Congress, coaxing, cajoling and confronting lawmakers.

They have also filed lawsuits, protested and demonstrated. All of this an effort to correct an admittedly egregious legacy of racism and discrimination by the US Department of Agriculture.

Despite high profiled settlements several years ago, just last month, three dozen farmers and their supporters from Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky descended on the steps of the United States Supreme Court. At the rally and demonstration, the protesters promised to fight until they’re heard and one of their members, Bernice Atchison, filed a writ with the Supreme Court.

“[Former USDA Secretary Dan] Glickman acknowledged that the agency had discriminated against Black farmers. We have dealt with bias, discrimination and double standards,” said Georgia Farmer Eddie Slaughter in front of the court. “We had supervised accounts which meant they had power over our money and county loan officers discriminated against Black farmers. It’s been nothing but fraud, deceit and breach of contract. Our damages are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. They have persecuted us and now, 35-40 percent of Black farmers have been run out of the business. They were supposed to return one and a half million acres of land to Black farmers but didn’t.”



Slaughter concluded, “We’re here to say Black farmers of 2016 are the Dred Scott of 1857. He demanded to be free. The fraud and corruption amounts to economic terrorism against Black farmers. We don’t have anyone standing up for us. The Congressional Black Caucus or President Obama could have created a national investigative commission. But they’ve done nothing. Equal justice under the law does not exist in this.”

Bernice Atchison, president of Black Farmers of Alabama, agreed as she recounted her long ordeal since the USDA seized and sold 239 acres of family land.

“My husband’s father died and they sold the land on the steps of the courthouse,” she explained as she held an armful of folders. “I’ve been fighting since 1983. I’m 78 years old. It’s been a long time for me. I have enough evidence that it would take a truck to haul it away. I walked the halls of the Capitol Hill with (the late) John Boyd, going from office-to-office.”

In 2004, Congress asked Atchison to testify before a subcommittee.

“They said my face was the face of the 66,000 Black farmers who’d been denied and said my due process had been violated,” She recalled. “Congress called me as an expert eyewitness before them and a judge gave me standing in the court. I’m the most impacted but I haven’t been paid. They’re punishing me. We’re asking for justice not a set amount.”

Atchison said she has a case on the docket that she filed in 2014. But, she says she and her colleagues have hit a brick wall.

“It’s been 20 years that farmers have been saying that they’ve been mistreated and we’re still losing land,” said Gary R. Grant, president of the Black Farmers & Agriculturists Association & The Land Loss Fund. “Where we had one million farmers, that number is down to 20,000. Many farmers feel a sense of helplessness, a number are suffering from disease and health issues we’ve never dealt with such as diabetes and high blood pressure. They’re wiping us out. The land isn’t disappearing. It’s been stolen from us.”

Grant said there has been no Congressional investigation into the assortment of alleged abuses by local farm service agencies.

“Not a single employee at USDA has lost their job,” said Grant. “Between 1981 and 1996, 64 percent of Black farmers have (disappeared) and only one person was forced to retire but with full benefits.”

Repeated attempts to secure comments and reaction from the USDA were not successful. However, a 1994 USDA study examined the treatment of racial minorities and women as the agency was weathered allegations of pervasive racial discrimination in the way its employees handled applications for farm loans and grants to primarily Southern black farmers. Between 1990 and 1995, researchers found that “minorities received less than their fair share of USDA money for crop payments, disaster payments, and loans.”

The final report noted that the USDA gave corporations 65 percent of loans, while 25 percent of the largest payments went to White male farmers. Further, 97 percent of disaster payments went to White farmers, with less than 1 percent reaching black farmers.

The study highlighted “gross deficiencies” in the way the USDA collected and handled data which muddied the reasons for the discrepancies in treatment between Black and White farmers in such a manner that the reasons couldn’t easily be determined.

Carol Estes, in a story about the travails of Black farmers in a Yes! Magazine article headlined, “Second Chance for Black Farmers,” details one of the many challenges.

Estes reports, “The USDA does provide a remedy for farmers who believe they’ve been treated unfairly: They can file a claim with the agency’s civil rights complaint office in Washington, DC,” she said. “There’s a hitch, though. Ronald Reagan shut down that office in 1983, and the USDA never informed farmers. So for the next 13 years, until the office was reopened by the Clinton administration, black farmers’ complaints literally piled up in a vacant room in the Agriculture building in Washington.”

The farmers who congregated in front of the Supreme Court cited figures ranging from 14,000 to 40,000 cases they say the USDA has failed to process. The official put in charge of unblocking the bottleneck is a part of the problem because he’s made no effort to facilitate the processing of the backed up claims, they charge.

The farmers have received two settlements, Pigford I and II, class action lawsuits which together have allocated about $2.25 billion to tens of thousands of Black farmers. The first lawsuit was settled in April 1999 by US District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman. And in December 2010, Congress appropriated $1.2 billion for 70,000 additional claimants.

The judgment was the largest civil rights settlement in this country’s history. While some see the settlement as a victory, for most Black farmers it’s bitter-sweet because the settlement payments aren’t enough to buy farm equipment, give farmers long-term comfort; and in no way makes up for the destruction of rural Black communities and the theft of land by government officials, they say.

For example, the farmers detailed the travails of Eddie and Dorothy Wise, North Carolina farmers who were forced off their 106-acre farm in January by 14 heavily armed sheriffs and federal marshals. They said this happened without the couple being granted any hearing. Wise, a 67-year-old retired Green Beret and his wife, a retired grants manager, lived on their farm for more than 20 years. After being evicted, the Wises lost their property and are living in a hotel. A GoFundMe page is soliciting help for the family. Supporters have raised $6,000 toward the $50,000 goal.

“Nothing has been done to enhance the opportunities and fairness. What they’ve been doing is working to manipulate and separate the black farmer from his community where he lives, and critically himself,” said Grant.

Lawrence Lucas, who worked with the federal government for 38 years, said little has changed at the agency.

“There’s a reason why they call the USDA ‘the last plantation.’ The civil rights problems there have not been fixed,” said Lucas, president emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees. “Ninety-seven percent of Black farmers did not get the debt relief promised in the agreement. Things are not better, which is why we have to stand up.”

The farmers said the White House, the US Department of Justice, Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus and civil rights leaders have done little to bring this long-running saga to a close.

“Cases have not been processed and no investigation has been undertaken,” Lucas said.

Oklahoma resident Muhammad Robbalaa said he was at the rally “because a fighter doesn’t quit.”

He said, “I have an older brother who lost his land in 1983. He had a stroke after we fought a battle with the State Supreme Court,” said Robbalaa, 75. “They ruled that it was other folks land and they gave it to White folks. I’m still in the cattle business and my daughters have come back and joined the business. I originally owned 250 acres of land but now I’m on leased land.”

Grant, Slaughter, Atchison and the other farmers said the government has colluded, nothing’s changed, they are further victimized and the land they own continues to be seized and stolen.

“People think that Pigford and $50,000 settled all our issues, but it hasn’t. You can’t even buy a tractor with just that,” Grant said. “They continue to take and foreclose Black farmers. The (lawsuit) assured us a hearing before foreclosure and that has not happened. All we want is justice and equality.”



Eddie Slaughter, President

P.O. BOX 0761

ASHBURN, GA. 31714





                        “Are Black Farmers in 2016 the New Dred Scott of 1857?”


On Friday, July 8, 2016 at 9:00 am, farmers from the Southern Region and others who believe in justice and equality will descend on the U. S. Supreme Court to once again seek and demand justice through the courts and to bring to light and awareness of the unfairness of the settlement of the Pigford Class Action, and the continued discrimination by the USDA, “The Last Plantation”. The theme is “Are Black Farmers in 2016 the New Dred Scott of 1857?”.


The protest will be held on the First Street NE sidewalk directly in front of the Supreme Court.  The complaint at the Supreme Court is regarding Eddie and Dorothy Wise, farmers from North Carolina, who were foreclosed on and evicted from their 106 acre farm on January 20, 2016 by 14 militarily armed Federal Marshals and several Nash County, North Carolina deputy sheriffs without ever being granted a hearing.  Farmers Eddie Wise is a retired Green Beret and his wife Dorothy Wise is a retired Grants’ Manager.  The Wise’s situation is akin to the Dred Scott Decision of March 6, 1857 ( because Black farmers are still being denied full due process.  This is one of the most important issues that should be brought before the United States Supreme Court.


While many people in this country think that Black farmers across the nation got justice during the Pigford Class Action (Pigford v. Glickman 1999), the opposite is the truth.  Black farmers who have been discriminated against by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) formerly called Farmers Home Administration (FmHA) continue to be put out of farming, denied opportunities to make a living, and lose land that impacts the quality of life for them and the rural Black communities in which they live.


The time has long expired on the unremitting discrimination and breach of The Pigford Consent Decree. Black Farmers are continuously denied due process; in particular, a right to have a formal hearing on the merits of their case before the Administrative Law Judge of The USDA.  Congress has expressed its intent for the Agency to hold the formal hearing on the merits in the 2007 Pigford Remedy Act which was incorporated in the 2008 Food Energy and Conservation Act or “Farm Bill.” In addition, the USDA is denying all claims and hearings by Black Farmers, Women Farmers, Hispanic Farmers, and Native American Farmers. This denial of the formal hearing before the Administrative Law Judge allows 180 days for the Agency to correct its own mistakes is unlawful, unjust and contrary to Congressional Intent pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act and The Pigford Consent Decree.


If you are a supporter of justice and equality, support Black Farmers, seek healthy and safe food, join with the Black Farmers and Eddie and Dorothy Wise, other speakers from the American Agriculturalists Association, the North Carolina-based national Black Farmers & Agriculturalists Association (BFAA), The Cowtown Foundation, Lawrence Lucas, President Emeritus, USDA Coalition of Minority Employees, and others to bring this issue before the United States Supreme Court. These farmers are asking the question… “Are Black Farmers in 2016 the New Dred Scott of 1857

UPDATE ON FARMER EDDIE WISE: Moral Failure – The Buying of the Wise Farm

April 5, 2016
Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s farm was purchased by a neighboring white farmer for $260,000 at a public, forced, auction yesterday. The farm was sold as part of a foreclosure despite an established pattern of discrimination by local county FSA agents, a global expression of concern, a concerted effort of local advocates, and a Color of Change petition of 30,000 signatures calling for a halt to the foreclosure. We are heartsick, emotionally exhausted, and angry at this callous disregard for the livelihood of one of our brothers and sisters and their family. We also find it morally reprehensible.

Eddie Wise and his dogs.
This post isn’t meant to summarize all that has been going on with this tragedy. Read up on this page to learn more details. When you do, you’ll find a lot of support among not only the Black farming community, but other groups and individuals concerned with the disappearance of the family farmer in this country and around the world. You’ll also find a handful of folks who ask questions and wonder about the financial skills and practices of the Wises. We want to take a minute to address this latter group because they reveal a hidden iceberg of suspicion and doubt that is a handmaiden of white supremacy and oppression.
For these folks, there is always suspicion that Black folks are trying to pull a fast one, to get over, or otherwise get something undeserved and unearned through hard work. A damning criticism indeed in our society of believers in the fabled Horatio Alger story of upward mobility. In that story, success is earned through hard work, thrift, and discipline, a set of morally imbued characteristics that suggest character and virtue. So, by extension, those who suffer, are poor or otherwise not successful, are seen somehow as moral failures. They have, in this narrative, a character flaw, a defect. They are, somehow, morally deficient. The problem is, the characters in Horatio Alger’s novels were inventions just like the myth of the American Dream. Myths are powerful things, though, and serve important functions. They provide guidance just as frequently as they conceal truth. They don’t, however, describe reality. To view the Wise case as a personal failing is to ignore historical evidence, subscribe to a false notion of individualism, and support racializing views that reinforce white supremacy.
Fact. Financial hardships and bailouts are everyday occurrences in modern agriculture, finance, and industry – recall the bank bailouts of 2009. Icons of success receive innumerable forms of assistance that directly contradict their self-proclaimed Horatio Alger narratives.
Fact. Eddie and Dorothy Wise, like Black people across the US, were treated unfairly in matters directly affecting the securing and operating of their farm.
To ask questions about why they missed payments, incurred so much debt, weren’t able to market their goods, etc. is to completely miss the point. Farmers and business people everywhere have financial struggles, only non-white folks also experience discrimination. The burdens of small producers everywhere are daunting. Pile on discrimination and it is impossible.
But even worse, to ask these questions is to embrace a view of Black Americans that relies on racial stereotypes, fears, and a wholly imaginary white pathway. That white pathway, like the Horatio Alger stories, says that “I’m successful because of my effort. I didn’t get any help. I made tough choices.” It’s harmful and inaccurate to believe that story because it is applied in the reverse to the unsuccessful, impoverished, or destitute. Without knowing anything about others, it is too easy to simply say that those who aren’t successful must not be doing something right. They must not be working hard enough, be thrifty enough, or have enough personal character. These beliefs are factually unsupported, but mythically powerful things. That is, there simply isn’t evidence to support that the impoverished are lazy, unmotivated, or otherwise deficient, let alone morally deficient. Even more, it is harmful to assert the validity of the white pathway because it simply isn’t true. Hard work is great, but it isn’t the sole or primary purview of white people. It simply doesn’t explain the differences in poverty rates by race. In fact, there are many more poor white people than poor people of color in the US. The rates are higher for non-whites, but the numbers are clearly higher for whites. Rates of poverty, interestingly, are historically higher in rural areas than urban areas. These rural areas are overwhelmingly white. So, to impugn Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s financial practices is to enlist a host of familiar stereotypes, ignore the profound history of racial inequality, and reinforce a mythical imaginary of white success.
The white neighbor who bought Eddie’s farm has had his eye on that property since 1993. Unsurprisingly he wanted to acquire neighboring property. During the farm crisis of the 1980s it was largely seen as bad form to try and purchase a struggling neighbor’s place. Why? Because, as members of a community, folks were to exercise restraint when faced with opportunities that came through the suffering of others. These values stemmed from a lot of things including the social bonds that emerge among community members, the engagement in shared forms of work, and, for many, deeply held Christian beliefs. The purchase of your struggling neighbor’s farm might happen, but only under extraordinary circumstances. To actively pursue it represented a moral failure.

Eddie Wise Farm Sale Flyer
At the sale of the Wise farm there were two bidders. It turns out they were working together. One of the bidders was Eddie and Dorothy’s neighbor, the other had no intention of buying the property and simply served to help get the price to a “fair” level. Under normal foreclosure proceedings the person losing their farm typically has around 10 days to make a counter-offer and save their place. These types of protections are commonly seen as a way to give every opportunity to the landowner to stay on their place. This was not an option at this sale. Whether this is legal or not is under investigation. Regardless, to treat your neighbor as an opportunity rather than your responsibility is far from Christian. To aggressively and strategically maneuver to buy your struggling neighbor’s farm is a service to self, not a service to others.
Selling the Wise farm illuminates the structural, racial, dimensions of inequality in this country. Buying Eddie and Dorothy Wise’s farm brings into clear view the moral failure of the white, Christian, community.


Farming is one of the main staples in human life, unfortunately, Black farmers have struggled to get the same rights as White farmers. Today, Black farmers are still fighting for their rights. From 1920 to 2000, Blacks went from owning 20 million acres to 1,500,00 acres owned by Black farmers. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman consented to the decree on April 14, 1999. The settlement recognized discrimination against Black farmers. The settlement was the largest civil rights class action settlement in American history with over $2 billion. Black farmers continued to protest due to not receiving the money from the settlement and debt relief. Investigations were launched which led to the discovery that the USDA was holding back three quarters of the $2.3 billion. This led to another suit, Pigford II. To many Black farmers the claims amount of $50,000 was not sufficient, it has been more about access to loans, debt relief and land loss. The administration under leadership of President Obama that has claimed victory for our Black Farmers is far from the truth. The discrimination that contributed to the decline of the Black Farmer as well as loss of land, that lead to the Black Farmers Settlement, still persist. You can get involved and join this fight for our farmers by joining an organization.

Here is some information:



Black Farmers & Agruculturalis Association (BFAA) at or call 252 826-3017.

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