A Black North Carolina Couple’s Fight To Farm

Jul 7, 2017

Eddie Wise comes from a family of farmers who worked the land for three generations. He and his wife Dorothy had dreams of raising animals together, so they decided to start their own farm near Whitakers, North Carolina. 

What ensued is what Eddie Wise describes as decades of systemic racism at the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His farm loans were repeatedly denied or delayed. The couple did not make any headway until they befriended a black USDA loan officer.

Reporter John Biewen followed the Wises’ story as their health declined and the interest piled up. In 2016, the Wises were evicted from their home and their land. Biewen produced a piece about Eddie and Dorothy Wise for the podcast Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Biewen, host and producer of the podcast Scene On Radio from the Duke University Center for Documentary Studies, and farmer Eddie Wise about the challenges and injustices that black farmers continue to face in the U.S.