Over the years, Black people have lost their land through a number of circumstances, including government action, deception and a reign of domestic terror in the South that forced Black people from their homes through threats of violence and lynching.
From 15 Million Acres to 1 Million: How Black People Lost Their Land*
By David Love
Slave Quarters at the Hermitage plantation,Chatham County, Georgia
At its height, Black land ownership was impressive. At the turn of the 20th century, formerly enslaved Black people and their heirs owned 15 million acres of land, primarily in the South, mostly used for farming. In 1920, the 925,000 African-American farms represented 14% of the farms in America.
Sadly, things turned for the worse, as 600,000 Black farmers were forced off their land, with only 45,000 Black farms remaining in 1975. Now, Black folks are only 1% of rural landowners in the U.S., and under 2% of farmers. Of the 1 billion acres of arable land in America, Black people today own a little more than 1 million acres, according to AP.
During the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture settled with Black farmers…
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