In 100 years, black farmers lost more than 12 million acres of land, according to census data. A new documentary, “Gaining Ground: the Fight for Black Land,” created in collaboration with Al Roker Entertainment, addresses the disproportionate economic issues that black American farmers have faced for generations, including heir rights.
“If there is injustice for some, there is injustice for all,” Al Roker said in an interview. “So the idea of being able to protect one’s legacy, heritage and family law, I think is something universal, so we want everyone to be able to see that.”
Eternal Polk, who directed the documentary, met and spent time with several rural southern families, even attending family reunions, to tell their stories in the film.
“My personal conversation isn’t having a very tight-knit family and going through that through this movie,” Polk said. “The film gave me in many ways, the directing was probably the least part of the gift. Those were the people I met in particular.
John Deere plans to further promote the film, which is still in the works, through paid social media placements, film festivals and viewing parties.