HATTIESBURG, MISS. - The United States Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA’s) regarding an ongoing 20-year court battle, where farmers say they were discriminated against. The organization advised members to submit their affidavits to see if they are eligible for this claim.
“Over the years historically, the African American farmer has been discriminated against by government agencies,” BFAA’s Ecumenical Support Advisor, Bishop David Allen Hall, Sr. said. “One of the classic ones is the denial of farm loans. How can you run a farm, and you don't have operating money?”
According to members of BFAA, this happened to be one of the many acts of discrimination. Members claim they also had to pay higher interest rates for houses than other ethnicities, which called for the organization to file a lawsuit.
“In 2015, we were denied by the USDA and it's agency, and said that because we were black we could no long file and did not have a right to file our claim,” Hall said. “And on October 31, 2017, in the U.S. District Court of Appeals… said we could not be summarily dismissed from this case. In fact, we have a right to this case and a right to be heard and paid.”
Currently, these farmers hope their case will close soon and they will see the benefits.