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Ed Scott was the first ever non-white owner and operator of a catfish plant in the nation. The former sharecropper-turned-landowner was part of a class-action lawsuit that resulted in upon one of the largest civil rights settlements in U.S. history. With the settlement of Pigford v. Glickman in 1999, almost $1 billion dollars has been issued to over 13,000 African American farmers to date. In 2010, the second half of the case was settled for another $1.2 billion in Pigford II. Scott’s legal battle and personal history inspired Julian Rankin to write Catfish Dream: Ed Scott’s Fight for his Family Farm and Racial Justice in the Mississippi Delta. In this episode, Rankin speaks with his cousin, the ABA Journal’s Brenan Sharp, about how Rankin came to meet Scott; how his background in visual arts informs his writing; and what Scott’s story shows us about the struggle for racial and economic justice in the Mississippi Delta.

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