Ralph Paige: Black Land Loss

Susanna Hegner

Ralph Paige served the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund for more than 30 years, 15 as Executive Director. The Federation improves the quality of rural life through housing, community credit unions, cooperatives and training programs. It helps small farmers access the full range of USDA programs and keeps thousands of landowners informed of their rights and responsibilities to help them retain their land. The Federation also collaborates with business development, forestry, animal health, marketing and technical assistance programs at several universities.

Under Paige’s leadership, the Federation/LAF has received several awards, including a Humanitarian Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change and a United Nations Award for “significant contribution of adequate shelter to the poorer segments of the community.” The 58th Professional Agricultural Workers Conference awarded Paige its George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame Award.

In this video, Paige describes the ways land has been taken from black property owners and their descendants.