What was the relationship between the Farmers' Alliance and African Americans?

1 Answer
May 17, 2017

African Americans were included but segregated at the same time


"Founded as an agrarian association to assist the economic plight of Black farmers in Houston County, Texas, in 1886,1 the Colored Farmers Alliance became within five years the largest African-American organization of the 19th century -- comprising well over one million Black farmers with members in every Southern state.2

Despite the enormous membership of the Colored Farmers Alliance, its existence, let alone history, continues to be relatively unknown among historians and students of history. Herbert Aptheker, the great historian of the African-American experience, suggested to Race and Reason in 1994 that a revisionist treatment of the Populist movement from the perspective of the Colored Farmers Alliance was one of two key areas in African-American history which needed further exploration (the other being a multi-volume study of racism and the U.S. Presidency).

Charles B. Dew in his "Critical Essay on Recent Works" in the 1995 edition of C. Vann Woodward's classic Origins of the New South 1877-1913, states that the Colored Farmers Alliance has been "almost totally neglected" (p.542). To date, there are only a handful of studies which discuss this organization.

The Colored Farmers Alliance, while being segregated from the broader Southern and Northern Alliances, was integrally related to the farmer-led movement which came to be known as the Populist movement."

Source and more details:http://www.populist.com/Colored.Populists.html