Black Farmers

Vanecia Boone, left, and Brandy Hamilton prepare Boone's booth, Herbin Herbals for  Bountiful Land Food for All Farmers Market on Saturday, July 25, 2020, in Greensboro, N.C.
Lynn Hey / For WUNC

On a hot Saturday morning in east Greensboro, customers loaded their vehicles with potatoes, herbs, corn, peaches, watermelon and other fresh produce after visiting a local farmers market.

The difference with the people purchasing these goods and the farmers selling them, is that they're all Black.

Image of the Simmons family.
Courtesy of Melody Hunter-Pillion

The number of black farmers in the United States has dropped exponentially since the beginning of the 20th century.  2017 data from the Department of Agriculture shows African Americans make up less than 2 percent of the country’s 3.4 million farmers. That year, there were just over 2,000 black farmers in North Carolina.