According to McKinsey and Company website, the role of the agriculture economy has grown over the last century, but the share of Black farmers has significantly declined. The article, “Black farmers in the U.S: the opportunity for addressing racial disparities in farming,” 1.4 percent of U.S. farmers identify as black or mixed-race compared to 14 percent 100 years ago.
Several factors have contributed to the decline of Black-owned farms in the United States. Federal programs and policies have excluded Blacks from land purchases. Two examples are the Homestead Act and Morrill Land Grant Act, both passed in 1862 prior to the Fourteenth Amendment which recognized formerly enslaved people as citizens. The absence of legal protections such as wills that could have facilitated the transfer of property to the next generation, and limited access to capital through discriminatory lending practices, prevented Black Americans from fully participating in the land market, resulting in lost opportunity for the creation of generational wealth.