How one farmer swayed Congress

It’s no secret that activism takes time to work, but for John Boyd, it took half his lifetime.

The 45-year-old black farmer from Virginia became an activist in the 1980s after being denied a loan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

That journey ended last week at the White House, when President Barack Obama signed into law $1.25 billion to settle discrimination claims made by Boyd and 80,000 other black farmers.

“This is a perfect example of people who did not have any money but had a good story,” Boyd said. “Between that and activism on the Hill, we were able to get something.”

The founder and president of the National Black Farmers Association tried many tactics before he won, from riding a mule to D.C. to waiting for lawmakers at the Senate subway.

“You have to be a good activist if you don’t have money,” he said.

As Boyd wraps up 25 years of activism, he shares his recipe for success with Congress.org.

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