So why then have so many people never heard of Pigford vs. Glickman?
Or the follow-up lawsuit, Pigford II?
Or the Black Farmers Case, as the pair of these legal actions is often called?
Could it be that the heart-wrenching story of Black farmers in America, and the monumental legal case that brought long-sought justice to them, is rarely told because it reflects so poorly on the US and its treatment of those whose ancestors helped make the nation an agricultural giant in the first place?
Whatever the reason, the time to tell the full story has come and the person to share the gripping details is Greg Francis, one of the lead counsels in the historic case that finally helped Black farmers achieve equity. In Just Harvest, Francis narrates the dramatic twists and turns of the legal battle fought and won, and evidences the many years of ingrained discrimination and racism that preceded it. Awareness of this story makes us all witnesses to the history still unfolding— and while parts of what is recounted herein will enrage you, the hope is that this book will also inspire, inform, and motivate you to join the continuing fight for the rights of all Black farmers now and in the future.
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About the Author
Francis began his legal career in 1994 as an associate with a statewide defense firm specializing in medical malpractice defense, nursing home defense and municipal defense.
In 2001, Francis joined the law firm of Morgan and Morgan, P.A., as a Partner, focusing his practice on medical malpractice, police misconduct, wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury cases. From 2004-2006, Morgan & Morgan, P.A., participated in a joint venture with famed trial lawyer Johnny Cochran to open an office in Miami, Florida where Francis served as the co-managing partner. After achieving great success with The Cochran Firm, Francis became a shareholder of Morgan & Morgan, P.A. As the firm expanded, Francis was instrumental in opening new offices in Atlanta, Georgia and Jackson, Mississippi. He held the position of managing partner for the Jackson, Mississippi office from its inception through 2014, Francis also served on the firm’s Executive Committee.
In 2018, Francis joined longtime friend and colleague Joseph A. Osborne in forming their own firm, Osborne & Francis, PLLC. The firm has offices in Boca Raton and Orlando. Their firm will focus primarily on product liability, medical device litigation, pharmaceutical litigation, medical malpractice and personal injury litigation.
In addition to his professional achievements, Francis serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Bethune Cookman University. Additionally, Francis has served as legal counsel to the Lay Ministry of the African Methodist Episcopal Church which boasts membership of over 3 million. In 2010, he was appointed to serve on the Ninth Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission by Governor Charlie Christ. Francis is very active at all levels of the National Bar Association having served on the Executive Board of the Florida Chapter and as President of the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association from 2001-2003. In the community, Francis is an active member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Winter Park Chapter and was recently featured in the Kappa Journal, RYSE Magazine and Onyx Magazine for his contribution to the local community and for his national accomplishments.
Mr. Francis was born in the Panama Canal Zone and moved to the United States as a young child. He graduated from Oak Ridge High School with honors in 1986. Francis then earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Florida in 1991, and a Juris Doctorate in 1994 from the University of Florida Law School, where he was a Virgil Hawkins Fellow. In law school, he received writing and oral honors in Appellate Advocacy and was named to the Dean’s List. He was appointed as a Justice for the University of Florida Board of Masters, the highest Appellate Court for student disciplinary matters, and rose to the level of Senior Presiding Justice in 1994. He was also a member of the Frederick Douglas Moot Court Team and Publishing Editor for the UMDJA Law Journal. As a result of his academic achievements and extracurricular activities, he was inducted into the prestigious Florida Blue Key Leadership honorary society.
Currently, Francis volunteers his time to a number of local non-profit organizations. Most recently, he launched his own philanthropic platform, Believing In Good, which funds and hosts an annual “For the Kids” toy drive where he returns to the neighborhood of his childhood and distributes Christmas gifts to the children. He serves on the Board of Trustees for St. Mark AME, is a member of the Orlando Chapter of 100 Black Men of America and a Board member for Nap Ford Charter School. Francis is married to the former Keisha Berry, has a daughter, Grier, a son, Gregorio II (Rio), and resides in Windermere, Florida.
Table of Contents
Foreword Mike Espy, Former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 11
Part 1 A Sense of Self
Chapter 1 Hell's Gorge 23
Chapter 2 New World 33
Chapter 3 Discovering the Law 43
Chapter 4 Championing the Cause 49
Part 2 A Sense of History
Chapter 5 White Gold 61
Chapter 6 Forty Acres and a Mule 73
Chapter 7 A New Kind of Slavery 85
Chapter 8 Working for Halves 97
Chapter 9 New Deal 109
Chapter 10 Reign of Terror 121
Chapter 11 The Last Plantation 131
Part 3 A Sense Justice
Chapter 12 Determined Purpose 145
Chapter 13 Journey to Justice 155
Chapter 14 Man Behind the Name 161
Chapter 15 Seeds of Promise 169
Chapter 16 Second Chances 179
Chapter 17 A Familiar Name 189
Chapter 18 Taking a Gamble 197
Chapter 19 I Dream Big 205