December 8th, 2010
07:59 PM ET

Justice to black farmers, Indian tribes

WASHINGTON (CNN) – John Boyd Jr. finally got what he wanted: justice.  For more than a decade, he's been riding his tractor to Washington, knocking on the doors of Congressional members, and pressuring the White House to fund a settlement from an historic discrimination case involving minority farmers.

Today, President Obama signed into law the Claims Resolution Act of 2010, which in part funds the $1.15 billion Pigford II case against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who for years denied government farm loans and support from federal programs to farmers because of the color of their skin.

CNN first brought the case and Boyd's story to you in May, and we wanted to share this video that was shot and edited by CNN's Khalil Abdallah around that time.

Boyd will not receive a payout from the settlement, but it's been his job as president of the National Black Farmers Association to lobby on behalf of those eligible to get what's owed to them.

The legislation will also fund the $3.4 billion Cobell settlement with the U.S. Department of Interior for mishandling Native American trust funds, along with water rights lawsuits brought by Native American tribes.

At today's bill signing President Obama said, "When we’ve fallen short, it’s been up to ordinary citizens to stand up to inequality and unfairness wherever they find it.  That’s how we’ve made progress.  That’s how we’ve moved forward.  And that’s why we are here today - to sign a bill into law that closes a long and unfortunate chapter in our history."

Topics: President Obama • The News • Uncategorized

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. SouthernGirl2

    It's been a long time coming but Justice has finally been done!

    God bless the Black Farmers & their families.

    O Happy Day!

    December 8, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  2. lauradet

    This is great news. "Denied government farm loans and support from federal programs to farmers because of the color of their skin," the farmers deserved to win the lawsuit. Congrats!

    December 9, 2010 at 7:49 am |
  3. Turah

    Where's my check?

    December 9, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  4. Barbara Brown Finley

    I, for one is glad to see justice prevail, so many Black farmers was denied loans as we look at the ecomony today just imagine it back then. So many suffered at the hands of injustice. I happy for all who were in the lawsuits, and families don't forget that Mr. John Boyd fought for you all to get this done! I would like to thank Mr. Boyd for a job well done...

    December 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  5. Charles E. Campbell, LSW, MSW, Innovator, Inventor and Entrepreneur

    The Settlement is Done at last, but the work is just beginning. Black Farmers should be the Backbone of the Black Community. The Black Community must help them create a national processing, manufacturing and retail distribution network for the food grown by them. We also need to create a Peace Corp style Training Program for our young Black Farmers, Business Entrepreneurs and Engineers, that would allow them to spend 1 year working on Black Farms after graduating from College to improve to farming methodologies, food processing, develop new farm equipment, and new products from the crops and live stock grown by Black Farmers.

    The settlement is over, let's compete in the marketplace and within the Black Communities where "Food Deserts Exist". I grew up on cotton and catfish farms in the Mississippi Delta, the son of the late Mr. Dudley Allen, Farm Laborer. I can be reached at if any Black Farmers, Black Colleges and University Graduates, Black Graduates for White Colleges and Universities or Administrators are interested in implementing this concept nationally. Racism has scared so many for life, but if you believe in self-empowerment and the will of our ancestors, then let's "Put In Work" to ensure their sacrifices will forever be remembered.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
  6. Zona Spears Glass

    I was glad to see this bill passed but am concerned about the exclusion of Black farmerprior to the time included in the bill.

    There were and still exist much discrimination in all phases of work (especially in Louisiana).

    December 13, 2010 at 9:22 pm |

    @Charles E Cambell, LSW, MSW, Thank you for your most intelligently worded, observational offering in to the masses. I truly hope your comment was read and your informational offering is being pursued by many black brothers and sisters, who are ABLE and INTERESTED in EMPOWERING THEMSELVES. Thank you again, SIR!

    December 14, 2010 at 11:15 am |