SEGMENT: AFRICAN-AMERICANS

Lloyd Johnson>ISM Interviews A-L>ISM Interviews A-L, Segment 23

SEGMENT: AFRICAN-AMERICANS,

duration 16:28
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AFRICAN-AMERICANS
Background of lawsuit by black farmers against the USDA on discrimination in lending practices. Local offices did not notify black farmers of programs, delayed application process. Deliberate delays caused farmers to lose farms. USDA settled case by giving farmers $50,000 or so, finally, often too late. Years ago, most of the farms within a 3-mile radius of his were black-owned. Today only he and his brother and one other landowner are black. When he was on the county committee, there were nine black farmers in Madison County. Three actually farmed the land and one ran cattle. In southern Illinois there are black registrants of land, and in Northern Illinois (Kankakee) there are truck farms owned by blacks. Compared with town jobs with regular paychecks, farming is a hard life. Takes a lot of money to farm and there is a lot of risk. Describes his family members' choice not to farm.