African American farmers file lawsuit alleging discrimination

African American farmers file lawsuit alleging discrimination

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Several African American farmers gathered at Kelly Ingram Park for a news conference about the lawsuit. Source: WBRC video Several African American farmers gathered at Kelly Ingram Park for a news conference about the lawsuit. Source: WBRC video
A farmer holds a sign at the news conference in Kelly Ingram Park. Source: WBRC video A farmer holds a sign at the news conference in Kelly Ingram Park. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Some African American farmers in Alabama say they are still facing discrimination with the federal government.

About a half dozen farmers held a news conference at Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham. Black farmers have filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. Agriculture Department, alleging the federal agency failed to provide loans going to white farmers.

A $1.2 billion settlement has been offered in this case. But, the farmers in Birmingham say they are not a part of the class action case and their independent lawsuit's have yet to be addressed. The lawsuits have been filed dating back to the 1990's.

"The black farmer lawsuit started in 1999. They have tried on several occassions to pay us but they have failed to pay all of us," Robert Binion, a farmer from Clanton said.

"Black folk, y'all need to wake up. Wake up black folk. This is what is going on in the United States. They don't want us here. But it's OK, we're here," Mike Stovall, a farmer from Town Creek said.

The black farmers claim the federal government is trying to force them to sell their property. The group asked President Obama to get involved and to have his Agriculture Deptartment settle their lawsuits.

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