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Tue July 20, 2004
Black Farmers Involved in Suit
By Alabama Public Radio
Washington, DC – A Washington think tank released a report accusing the U-S Agriculture Department of blocking almost 64-thousand black farmers from settlements of a 1999 racial discrimination suit. The Environmental Working Group looked at thousands of documents from a class action lawsuit joining 22-thousand black farmers across the nation. The farmers claimed the U-S-D-A discriminated against black loan applicants. They won settlements of 50-thousand dollars each five years ago. But E-W-G officials say farmers have had a difficult time getting the money. About 31-hundred black farmers in Alabama received some or all of the payments. That's about 69 percent of those who applied -- the highest acceptance rate in the South.