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Strange Fruit: The Decline And Resurgence Of Black Farmers


In 1920, black farmers in this country owned some 15.6 million acres of land, but by 1999 that number had fallen to two million.  In 1910, there were nearly one million black farmers in America. In the year 1999, only 18,000 remained, and statistics showed that black farmers were disappearing at a rate five to six times that of white farmers.

Leah Penniman, farmer and educator at Soul Fire Farm in the Albany, New York, area, attributes the virtual disappearance of Black farmers to decades of discrimination against Black farmers by the U.S. government – denying them farm loans, for example – and racist violence targeting land-owing Black farmers in the South.

But after 100 years in decline, Penniman writes for YES Magazine, Black farmers are making a comeback. She joins us this week to say that these farmers aren’t just growing healthy food, but just as importantly they are healing racial traumas, instilling collective values, and changing the way communities of black folks think about the land.

Later in the show we talk with writer Gloria Oladipo about her essay in Teen Vogue describing why her therapist specifically needed to be a woman of color.

And in hot topics, we talk about drivers behaving badly.

Listen to the Show:

Why does Louisville have so many fish fries?

Jaison Gardner is co-creator and co-host of Louisville Public Media's "Strange Fruit" podcast. His work focuses on race, gender, and LGBTQ issues.

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