Al Jazeera highlights the work of a researcher, John Ficaras, who is looking at the lives and histories of black farmers in the USA. It is another chapter in the story of discrimination, which far from falling away is a continuing issue as banks and government withhold support. Promises dating back to Lincoln and abolition have never materialised.
“The history of black owned farms in the United States dates back to the years immediately following the US Civil War in the mid-1800s.
At the end of the war the then US president, Abraham Lincoln, liberated all of the slaves and the reforms that followed promised that each family would receive forty acres and a mule, a promise that was never fulfilled.
Black owned farms peaked in the early 1920s with an estimated total of 15 million acres and over 900,000 farmers.
Today there are only 2.2 million acres owned by black farmers. These farmers are losing their land three times faster than white family farmers and a recent study by the university of Michigan predicts that within the next ten years there will be virtually no black owned farms.
This is a vanishing part of American history and Ficara uses the power of their stories and these images to keep the history of their slice of the American dream alive while their way of life falls under the plough forever.”
Another example where the most visible minorities have become invisible in history.