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Study puts a price on land taken from African Americans: $326bn

World

Study puts a price on land taken from African Americans: $326bn

This is how much land lost as a result of state-sanctioned violence and intimidation in the 20th century is worth

Zijia Song

African-American farmers lost about $326bn worth of land in the US due to discrimination during the 20th century, a study found.

From 1922 to 1997, black farmers in 17 American states saw a precipitous decline in their acreage caused by state-sanctioned violence and intimidation, according to the paper. The study, which analysed US department of agriculture census data, will be published in the American Economic Association’s Papers and Proceedings journal. 

Land and home ownership provide crucial opportunities to build wealth in the US and “the current racial wealth gap represents the intergenerational compounding of discrimination”, said Dania Francis, economist at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and lead author of the study...

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