By John Francis Ficara

In Greene County, Alabama, a abandoned farmhouse sits in the midst of a box so overgrown with weeds that the home is totally engulfed; snaking vines and stalks conceal the doorways and home windows and invade the chimney, choking off any risk of human habitation. Hidden by way of a curtain of greenery, the home stands as a silent testomony to the loss that black American farmers and their households have persisted in the course of the 20th century. What retains those households from their desires and lifestyle, besides the fact that, isn't the encroachment of typical forces however the dying of a tradition that helps self sustaining farmers. In 1920, black americans made up 14 percentage of all farmers within the country, they usually owned and labored 15 million acres of land. this present day, fighting the onslaught of globalization, altering know-how, an getting older staff, racist lending regulations, or even the U.S. division of Agriculture, black farmers account for only 1 percentage of the nation's farmers and domesticate fewer than three million acres of land. specialists expect that in the subsequent ten years, black-owned relations farms will all yet stop to exist. within those records is a striking tale of human loss that led photographer John Francis Ficara on a four-year trip throughout the United States to rfile and defend the struggles of black farmers. the results of this trip is Black Farmers in the US, a set of a hundred and ten images skillfully reproduced in duotone that captures poignant pictures of problem, survival, and a people's bond to the soil on the finish of the 20 th century. From depictions of a hand-painted "For Sale" billboard in a farmer's box, to a farmer getting ready for the early morning chore of milking, to a lone determine pausing to survey his land, those images guard a historical past and lifestyle that could quickly disappear as those last-generation farmers harvest their ultimate vegetation. In his essay, Juan Williams offers a ancient context for the images. From the parable of "forty acres and a mule" to the multi-million-dollar USDA payment in 1999, Williams explores America's ongoing fight with racism and its fiscal effects for black farmers. The hardships and joys of way of life at the farm echo deeply in those photographs. they communicate a dignity of labor and tradition, they usually rfile the reports of black farmers for destiny generations.

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