Land, Legacy and Lynching: Building the Future in Black America by MONICA DAVIS (Book) in History
(Owensboro, KY) On Thursday, June 28, 2007, farmers and activists made history by conducting an interracial protest in front of the Federal Building in downtown Owensboro. Farm supporters and civil rights activists from as far away as Michigan drove over a thousand miles to join an African-American farmer, Harry Young, as he continues his protest of what he says is an illegal foreclosure and sale of his land.
Young was the last black farmer in three western Kentucky counties. His land contains as much as $750,000,000 in coal reserves and it was sold in a disputed sale 2 years ago. The Farm Services Administration claimed he hadn't paid on his loan in 25 years, a claim which Young disputes. He also says he has signed receipts from the agency showing payment.
Young says the media is ignoring his situation. The historic alliance between black and white farmers was totally ignored by the majority media, including the newspaper that had reporters on site to cover another injustice to Kentucky minorities and farmers--the confiscation of thousands of Kentucky farmland for a military base during World War Two, and the ongoing class action lawsuit which it spawned. The newspaper has reportedly refused to publish additional letters to the editor from Young about the injustices which he faces.
Thousands of press releases were sent to media world wide, including several that were sent to local media. The only known broadcast media coverage of the event was provided by the lone black owned radio station in the market. The situation is a prime example of why minority owned media, ethinic and minority reporters and ethnic publications, books and literature provided a priceless contribution to American democracy.
The plight of family farmers, particularly black farmers and the terrible history of lynching for land and land loss is examined by a distant cousin of Mr. Young's in a new book, Land, Legacy and Lynching: Building the Future in Black America, available from Lulu Press.