Black farmers rally for justice - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Black farmers rally for justice

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By Scott Hunter

November 15, 2003

Albany--Nearly 4 years after the USDA settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with America's black farmers, some south Georgia farmers say the government continues to discriminate against them. They say the government isn't giving them loans their entitled too.

The men and women who gathered at the Albany Civic Center Saturday are apart of a dying breed of black farmers. They say not only do they deal with the issues of farm life but also discrimination by agencies set up to help them.

"USDA has the records and the documentation to show by 1982 they themselves had forced most black farmers out of business. Either by dening them loans or giving them loans at a late time," says organizer Willena White. And in farming, time is money. Many farmers, who were denied loans, either lost their crops or were forced to sell their farms.

"Everybody has the same story because everyone have been denied in getting money says farmer,George Perry. "They will not even give you the opportunity to try to farm because you are black. It is wrong and it needs to be stopped," echoed farmer Joseph Wimberly. And to stop it organizer say those who are affected have to be informed something they say the government has not tried to do.

There are about 15,000 active black farmers across the US. At the event black farmers filled out questionnaires that will be put in a national database. And they may be apart a new class action lawsuit to right past wrongs and help to save their way of life.

posted at 4:50PM by scott.hunter@walb.com