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Black Farming Community In Tennesee Holds Their Ground For A Fair Deal As The State Takes Their Land For Ford

Black Farming Community In Tennesee Holds Their Ground For A Fair Deal As The State Takes Their Land For Ford (Photo: Tennesee Lookout)

The Black farming community in Tennesee is currently fighting for a fair deal from Ford after using their land to construct a plant for their cars.

A Black farmer and a member of the Black farming community (Photo: Michigan Advance)

Black Farming Community In Tennessee Disturbed By Ford’s Plant Construction

The newly planned route for Ford passes through a large number of the land owned by the Black farming community in the counties of Tipton, Haywood, and Fayette, including Sanderlin’s farm in Haywood. Many of the families within the farming community who are being sued already knew one another; those who didn’t meet during community gatherings, some of which were planned with the aid of local NAACP officials.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation estimates that the state needs 35 different tracts to complete the road project. In order to build a series of road connections and widenings that would connect the 4,100-acre BlueOval Ford complex to the upcoming Exit 39 off I-40 to handle crowds of workers and truck traffic, it currently owns four plots and is seeking the other ones either through acquisition or eminent domain.

Marvin Sanderlin, a long-time farmer within the farming community in the state, made a clear connection between the state’s present attempts to remove his land and the struggles in every previous generation of his family to cling onto what they possessed, much like the other Black families within the farming community that talked to the Tennessee Lookout about eminent domain proceedings brought against them.

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More On The Black Farming Community’s Fight For Fairness

Throughout Sanderlin’s occupation as a farmer, he acquired over 400 acres of farmland and started his own wood company, although he claimed that it was not without opposition. According to Sanderlin, he has spent years speaking out against the prejudice Black farmers within the farming community face when applying for federal agricultural credit programs.

The Ford plant to be built on the land owned by the Black farming community in the state is anticipated to directly contribute more than 6,000 jobs to the local economy and more than 25,000 employment indirectly. In order to entice Ford’s investment to the region, the state has promised roughly $1 billion in public incentives, including support for infrastructure that includes the I-40 interchange. 

READ ALSO: Harvard Admissions Under Fire As They Allegedly Prefer To Admit Children Of Alumni In The University

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