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The Fruits of Our Labor

Three generations of Jonestown, MS natives stand on historic land owned by the Swan Lake Association, founded in 1870 through a partnership among numerous Black-led churches in the area.

In the 1940s and 1950s, the Swan Lake Association and its affiliated churches accumulated over 600 acres of land during the Second Great Migration, as people left sharecropping farms in search of better working conditions and jobs in the North.

Today, Mr. Bennie (seen in the middle) has dedicated his later years to developing a farm incubator on the land his elders bought to ensure that there’s another generation of Black farmers who can learn agricultural traditions and earn a living.
This year, the organization is working with seven new and beginning farmers, helping them specialize in key crops to make a living and feed Jonestown (which does not have a fully functional grocery store) and surrounding towns like Coahoma, Lula, Friars Point, and Clarksdale.

Special thanks to the Reuben V. Anderson Center for Justice for gifting the Swan Lake Association a $30,000 grant to purchase a tractor and other essential equipment for the farm incubator.

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