[Marxism] How African-American land was stolen throughout the 20th century

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Mon Aug 5 10:23:51 MDT 2019


“Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their
farmland.” That loss cost black families hundreds of billions of dollars
<https://features.propublica.org/black-land-loss/heirs-property-rights-why-black-families-lose-land-south/>.
In 2012, less than 2 percent of farmers were black, according to the most
recent Agricultural Census.
<https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2019/04/03/467892/progressive-governance-can-turn-tide-black-farmers/>

While rural blacks lost land, real estate holdings of urban blacks were
wiped out by a combination of government discrimination and private
exploitation. Because black families could not get regular mortgages due to
redlining by banks, if they wanted to buy a house they had to resort to
private land sale contracts, in which the price was inflated and no equity
was earned until the entire contract was paid off. If the family moved or
missed one payment, they lost everything. A recent study of this practice
in Chicago in the 1950s and 1960s showed that black families lost up to $4
billion
<https://www.chicagoreporter.com/the-plunder-of-black-wealth-in-chicago-captured-in-film/>
in
today’s dollars.

For the first time in decades, reparations for African Americans who were
victimized by the white federal and state governments are being discussed
seriously. This story about whites taking black property shows how
superficial, disingenuous and ahistorical are the arguments made by
conservatives against reparations. When Sen. Mitch McConnell delivered his
simplistic judgment
<https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/18/politics/mitch-mcconnell-opposes-reparations-slavery/index.html>
last
month, he was continuing the cover-up of modern white real estate theft: “I
don't think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom
none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea.”

Today’s economic gap between black and white began with slavery.
Emancipation freed slaves, but left them with nothing. Hundreds of millions
of acres of land were given away to white families. When blacks gradually
managed to get some land, it was taken by violence and legal trickery
during the 20th century. After World War II, blacks were denied access to
another giant government economic program, the GI Bill, which helped
millions of white veterans acquire houses. The collusion of federal, state
and local governments, banks, and real estate professionals bilked African
Americans of billions of dollars in real estate, with the subprime mortgage
crisis <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subprime_mortgage_crisis> only a
decade ago as the latest chapter. What I have written here is only an
outline of the racist narrative.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/154232



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