Black History program
The Florence County Library System and the Pee Dee Land Trust celebrate Black History Month with a special program on Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Doctor’s Bruce and Lee Foundation Library. The program, titled “The Plight and Promise of African American Farmers in the Pee Dee,” will feature three speakers: Jillian Hishaw, founder and director of Family Agriculture Resource Management Services; David Harper,executive director of Pee Dee Land Trust; and Terry James, descendant of and spokesperson for the Reconstruction-era Jamestown settlement.
Hishaw will speak on F.A.R.M.S. mission to help farmers retain land and market produce, and her goal to educate the next generation of farmers. As an attorney, she works to reduce land loss when land inheritance rights are spread out, by default, among all descendants, generation after generation. Hishaw states, “African-American farmers lose 30,000 acres of land per year.” Harper will explain options on how to create more secure ownership of land and the importance of establishing a land trust.
In 2015, Pee Dee Land Trust collaborated with F.A.R.M.S. to present The Black Farmers Storytelling Project. “There is a long history of African American farmers growing nutritious produce for local communities, and we wanted to hear those stories and share them through their words and photographs,” Harper said. James will provide information about community development and Reconstruction-era southern agriculture, and in a time when many African Americans struggled to survive. This program is free and open to the public, with sponsorship provided by ArborOne Farm Credit. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, call (843) 292-7368 or visit www.florencelibrary.org.