Farmers’ discrimination settlement unpaid

WASHINGTON — Coolidge P. Wallace began making calls on Tuesday.

By Friday, more than 100 black farmers had packed a church in Natchez to talk about the money the federal government owes them for years of past discrimination in farm loans.

Wallace wasn’t surprised by the large turnout, or that many of the farmers plan to join a Sept. 23 rally in Washington to persuade Congress to approve legislation to make the money available.

“Maybe we might get something done,” said Wallace, an 86-year-old retired rancher. “The larger the crowd, the louder the words. A lot of us are concerned about not getting the money that is supposed to be appropriated to black farmers.”