In the audio clip below, Illinois State Representative Sonya Harper from Chicago’s South Side, and Chair of the House Agriculture Committee, talks about the state of Black farm ownership during Black Farmers’ Week, and a multi-million dollar effort to help undo some of the devastation done by a century of discrimination, a combination of systemic racism, biased government policy, and social and business practices that have denied African Americans equitable access to markets. In Illinois, of more than 70,000 farms, fewer than 200 are Black-owned. Also, Black farmers and growers visited the State Capitol to share their stores. Growing Greater Englewood’s Bweza Itaagi tells how Black and Brown farmers are thriving in urban areas.
There aren't many Black farmers in Illinois. Of the more than 70,000 farms in the state fewer than 200 are Black-owned. State lawmakers are considering a handful of bills to help kickstart Black participation in farming.