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Black Farmers Speak Out Against the 'Festering Wound' of Racism in Agriculture

House agriculture committee hearing comes on the heels of $5bn being allocated to farmers of color earlier this month

For the first time in US history, members of the House agriculture committee heard from Black farmers on the impact of systemic discrimination by the department of agriculture (USDA).

Thursday’s hearing came on the heels of $5bn being allocated to socially disadvantaged farmers of color earlier this month as part of the coronavirus relief and economic stimulus package. The funding – $4bn for debt forgiveness, $1bn for other forms of support – is meant to account for generations of mistreatment of farmers of color by the USDA.

“This festering wound on the soul of agriculture must be healed,” said congressman David Scott of Georgia, who was born on a farm in South Carolina owned by his grandparents and now serves as the first ever Black person to chair the committee.

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