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Black-Owned Land and Farmers: Part 1

Event Description:

EGPS Work Group for Racial Equity Discussion Group

Black-Owned Land and Farmers: Part 1

Monday April 19, 2021 8:30 - 9:45 PM (Eastern Time - US and Canada)

 

Please join the Work Group for Racial Equity for Part 1 of a two-part series on Black-Owned Land and Farmers. In April and May, the Work Group for Racial Equity will be uncovering the history and legacy of Black land ownership and farming.

The unpaid, violently forced labor of enslaved Africans built the foundation of wealth of the United States, particularly from farms and plantations. Toward the end of the Civil War, Union leaders gathered with a group of black ministers in Savannah, Ga. where Gen. William T. Sherman's Special Field Order 15 set aside 400,000 acres land along the Southeast coast for formerly enslaved Africans so that "each family shall have a plot of not more than forty acres of tillable ground." This is what became known as "40 Acres and a Mule." However, after Lincoln's assassination, President Andrew Johnson, a forner slave owner reversed Sherman's order, giving the land back to its former Confederate owners.

In spite of this, by the 1920s, Black people owned 14% of farms in the US. However, as we have seen again and again, Black progress is often followed by white backlash, and presently, Black ownership of farmland is below 2%.

In April our discussion will center on two back-to-back podcast episodes from the New York Times 1619 Project entitled "The Land of Our Fathers" (Episode 5, Parts 1 & 2) which follows the story of Wenceslaus "June" Provost and his wife Angie, and the farm that was in June's family for generations.

Part 1:" The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1"

Part 2: "The Land of Our Fathers, Part 2"

 

We also invite you to read the following New York Times piece regarding how centering the needs of Black Farmers will play a role in addressing the crises of racial inequity and human influenced climate change.

 "Two Biden Priorities, Climate and Inequality, Meet on Black-Owned Farms"

 

How do we raise awareness of the systemic forces working against Black farmers?

What role can we play in holding this administration accountable to the needs of Black farmers?

Please join us as we come together to share and develop our insights, take-aways, and new ideas for action steps. We invite you into this brave space of

deep listening and sharing. Building a community of solidarity in the exchange of

emotional risk-taking and vulnerability.

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The Work Group for Racial Equity is a "drop in' group for EGPS members and not-yet members. You are invited to participate whenever you can. We meet monthly on the third Monday evening of the month to discuss relevant books, films, podcasts and articles. Further information can be found on the EGPS website at https://egps.org/work-group-racial-equity.php

Location:

Time: Monday, April 19th, 8:30 pm - 9:45 pm

Contact #1: Christine Schmidt

Contact #2: Rudy Lucas


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