The systemic denial of support and general exploitation that Black farmers in America have endured remains a relatively unexplored topic when it comes to progressive social justice stories. The New York Times’ 1619 Project exposed the evolution of Black land ownership with a two-part episode tracing both its roots from the end of slavery (part 1) as well as modern-day injustices like loan discrimination from the USDA (part 2). When Hightower became Agriculture Commissioner, he aimed to create structures supportive of marginalized farmers, especially Black farmers, as corporate agribusiness threatened the livelihoods of farmers across the state. This short documentary fromexplores the collaborative, mutual process that the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) deployed to make gains for people who had traditionally been left—or pushed—behind.
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