This February, look out for RAFI’s weekly social media posts in honor of Black History Month from an agricultural perspective. Each topic we cover in these posts will be accompanied by a collection of resources and/or further reading, which will be collected here. We hope that you will join us in the celebration of not only the rich history, but present and future of Black excellence in U.S. agriculture.
Racial Land Loss
Our collective understanding of racial justice has grown exponentially in the last few years, so let’s talk about how it has manifested at agriculture’s core: land. Systemic discrimination has led to the loss of millions of acres owned by Black farmers, which translates into billions of dollars of wealth those families have not been able to pass on to the next generation. While the loss has been great, RAFI and like-minded leaders are standing up against these injustices through services that support the viability of these and other underserved farmers. Do you know the history of the land you live on?
Below are a list of resources and further reading curated by RAFI staff.
- The Land Cries Out: A Guide To Racial Land Loss in the U.S. (RAFI)
- FSC/LAF Regional Heirs Property & Mediation Center Services (Federation of Southern Cooperatives)
- Building a Future with Farmers 2022 (National Young Farmer Survey)
- Dirt and Deeds film (David Shulman)
- No Land, No Life: The Structure of Debilitating Black Land Loss in the South (History News Network)
- Black Land Loss in the United States (FoodPrint)
- Thomas Wilson Mitchell, Property Law Scholar
Fair Credit Access
Access to credit is easy to take for granted – we use it to buy homes, cars, and build businesses. Historically, Black farmers have faced barriers to accessing credit. This means that on top of decades of Black farmer land loss, they face a much more difficult path to start over.
For years, small business ag lenders were not required to collect demographic data for who does and does not receive credit, and this lack of data made it challenging to address discrimination.
In partnership with movement allies, RAFI is fighting the root causes of credit discrimination. Find out more below.
- Farmers Deserve Fair and Equitable Access to Credit (RAFI)
- CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) 1071 (HEAL)
- Dispossession (Pete Daniel)
- Information on Credit and Outreach to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers is Limited (GAO)
- Study: Black Farmers Face Bank Bias Regarding Loans; Impacts are Generational, Far Reaching (Arizona State University)