Righteous Wrath Down on the Farm

Phillip J. Barker says he lost his land to racism, and now he wants it back

Back in 1985, as Phillip J. Barker was chopping down trees to build a lounging shed for his dairy cows, one tree fell the wrong way and broke his neck. Doctors told him he would never walk again. But the gritty little farmer--just over five feet tall--refused to accept that prognosis. Within seven days he regained feeling in his limbs. And after 18 months of rehabilitation he was back at work on his 300-acre dairy farm here, about 40 miles northeast of Durham.

The despair of temporary paralysis paled, however, compared with the anguish Barker felt in late 1997, when all...

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