Black Farmers Press Conference

Black Farmers Press Conference
Creates Stir at USDA;Black Farmers’s
President Thomas Burrell Used Blackberry Prop
to call for Resignation of Agriculture
Sec. Tom Vilsack.

The Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association’s planned press conference in front of the USDA created quite a stir. At the press conference, which took place on Tuesday, August 3rd at 10 am, BFAA, Inc.’s president Thomas Burrell called for the resignation of Agricultural Sec. Tom Vilsack using a Blackberry cell phone as a prop.

Upon arrival to the location, BFAA, Inc. president Thomas Burrell was met by representatives from the civil rights department at the USDA, and from Agricultural Sec. Vilsack’s office. Both invited him to a meeting with the secretary, which he granted after the press conference.

NBC, CBS, FOX, a camera shooting for DC local channels 5, 6 and 9, APTV and Getty Images all covered the event, capturing video and still photos of him entering and leaving the USDA building.

Mr. Burrell also granted radio interviews on the day before, day of and day after the press conference, further spreading the Black farmer’s message. Every talk show host, called back to say that Mr. Burrell had shared information with them about the Black farmer’s case that they had never heard. They all commented that he was an excellent quest and left the door open for him to return.

Notification of the press conference and other information about the Black farmers was posted on several Facebook pages and otherwise shared with others. Unfortunately not enough regular citizens, know, or understand the issue surrounding Black farmer discrimination. Support from African — beyond just the voices of Black farmers — is tantamount to victory for the Black farmer’s issue. This is, afterall, the “largest civil rights case in the history of America.” If this issue is being ignored and treated poorly, what does that say for the other civil rights injustices being perpetrated throughout our nation.

Overall, the press conference was a success. It has placed BFAA, Inc. and its president Thomas Burrell on the media map. The press conference did grab the attention of the “power-that-be.” More importantly, the BFAA, Inc. should keep up their presence in the media, as they are the only independent Black farmer advocacy group that has not been co-opted by the USDA. They are not just telling pieces of the story; they are telling the entire story.

Below are media hits that were found online:

Cathy Nedd
Publicist– BFAA, Incorporated

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