I was fortunate to attend the 16th Beaumont History Conference last Saturday and hear a presentation by Debra Johnson titled "100 Years of Farming in Jasper County".
Debra, a fellow writer, critique partner and member of the Golden Triangle Writer's Guild is to be commended for reseraching and preserving the pioneering spirit of her family's ancestors who settled and made Texas their home.
She said that in 1910, blacks owned 15 million acres of farm land. 218,000 black farmers were full or part-time owners. Although the number has dwindled signigicantly their family farm, the Triple D Johnson Farm, has a 116 year legacy to continue the tradition of black land ownership and East Texas Farming.
Today the farm's cash crop is red and yellow meat watermellons, as well as vegetables, and fruits. She says she cans all the family needs and sells the rest.
Debra's display of artifacts and photos, as well as a family Bible, are testamony to her research.
I appologise to Debra for not having my camera!