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Black Farmers Head to Capitol Hill to Fight for Economic Relief

Black farmers received $20.8 million from Trump's Covid relief packages. Now, the American Rescue Plan dedicates $5 billion to farmers of color. The inequity is part of a long legacy of discrimination.

President of the Black Farmers Association John Boyd protests on Capitol Hill over the non payment of black farmers in a case settled years ago, September 16, 2010

President of the Black Farmers Association John Boyd protests on Capitol Hill over the non payment of black farmers in a case settled years ago, September 16, 2010

Photographer: The Washington Post
Updated on

Tucked into President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan is a $5 billion relief package for minority farmers -- about a quarter of whom are Black. The funds are meant to help those hardest hit by a legacy of discrimination and a cycle of debt that has skewed landownership in the United States to be 98% White.

That inequity stretches back to more than a century ago, but it's just as evident now: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said just 0.1% of Trump’s Covid-19 relief for American farmers went to Black farmers, according to an interview in the Washington Post Thursday. That means Black farmers got $20.8 million of $26 billion in two rounds of payments from the Trump administration.