The History of Black Farmers

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

Well before formal legislation was passed, promising freed slaves certain land rights, Black farmers traveled west, exploring, and developing heavily forested land. With tons of experience in their pockets, migrating west made sense and allowed Black farmers and their families a safe place to live and grow.

But like most of America’s history, White settlers began to impose new laws and tactics on the once uncharted territory. Eventually, the land Black farmers cleared, plowed, and cultivated prohibited — either directly or indirectly — their existence in those spaces. Through violence, theft, and other mischievous practices, many Black farmers lost their ability to inhabit land they founded and worked on.

In this episode of Black History In Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Imani Perry of Princeton University and Hasan Jeffries of Ohio State University, we look at the plight of Black farmers and how systemic behavior of the 1800s is still felt in the agriculture sector today.

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 4x Webby Award winning series.

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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
• Alamy Images
• Getty Images
• Library of Congress
• The General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) of the United Methodist Church, Madison, New Jersey
• The New York Public Library

Additional Archival by:
• National Association For the Advancement of Colored People

Executive Producers:
• Robert F. Smith
• Henry Louis Gates Jr.
• Dyllan McGee
• Deon Taylor

Senior Producer:
• William Ventura

Series Producers:
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

Executive in Charge of Production:
• Robert L. Yacyshyn

Post Production Supervisor:
• Veronica Leib

Post Production Coordinator:
• Katherine Swiatek

Written By:
• Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Additional Writing:
• Kevin Burke
• Kelsi Lindus
• Chinisha Scott
• William Ventura

• Margaret Metzger
• Anne Yao

• Kevin Burke

Archival Producer:
• Megan Graham

• Zoë Smith

Assistant Editors:
• Patrice Bowman
• Nicholas Mastrangelo

Director of Photography:
• Nikki Bramley
• Nausheen Dadabhoy
• Stephen McCarthy

Graphic Design:
• Anthony Kraus

Special Thanks:
• Daina Ramey Berry
• Sam Hartley
• Elyssa Hess
• Stacey Holman
• Hasan Jeffries
• Peniel Joseph
• Imani Perry

Music By:
• Oovra Music

Be Woke presents is brought to you by Robert F. Smith and Deon Taylor.

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