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Tue July 20, 2004
Report Says Black Farmers Not Receiving Settlement
By Alabama Public Radio
Washington, D.C. – A new research report accuses the U-S Department of Agriculture of blocking almost 64-thousand black farmers from settlements of a 1999 racial discrimination lawsuit. The Environmental Working Group examined thousands of documents from Pigford versus Glickman. That's a class action suit that joined 22-thousand black farmers nationwide. The farmers claimed that 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 claim getting the money has been extremely difficult for the farmers. The group says farmers have to present their claims to a US-DA adjudicator and are routinely denied. In Alabama, about 31-hundred black farmers received some or all of the payments. That's about 69 percent of those who applied -- and the highest acceptance rate in the South.