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8 Heartbreaking Cases Where Land Was Stolen From Black Americans Through Racism, Violence and Murder

In his 2007 documentary Banished, filmmaker Marco Williams examined four examples of primarily white communities violently rising up to force their African-American neighbors to flee town. This became one of the techniques used to sabotage Black land ownership, a devastating trend in the 19th and 20th centuries that robbed Blacks of millions in generational wealth.

In 2001, results from an 18-month investigation of Black land loss in America were published by The Associated Press. It turned up 107 of these land takings, 57 of which were violent, the other cases involved trickery and legal manipulations. Here are eight of these heartbreaking stories.

 

birmingham kentucky

Birmingham, Kentucky

Today, the town of Birmingham, Kentucky, lies under a floodway created in the 1940s. But at the start of the 20th century, it was a thriving tobacco town with a predominantly Black population. It also was a battleground during a five-year siege by white marauders called Night Riders.

On the night of March 8, 1908, about 100 armed whites on horseback raided the Black part of the town, shooting seven people, three of them fatally. The AP documented 14 cases where Black landowners were driven from Birmingham. Together, they lost more than 60 acres of farmland and 21 city lots to whites – many at sheriff’s sales, all for extremely low prices.

 

 

land removal

Pierce City, Missouri

In Pierce City, Missouri, 1,000 armed whites burned down five Black-owned houses and killed four blacks on Aug. 18, 1901. Within four days, all of the town’s 129 African-Americans fled, never to return, according to a contemporary report in The Lawrence Chieftain newspaper. The AP documented the cases of nine Pierce City Blacks who lost a total of 30 acres of farmland and 10 city lots. Whites bought it all at bargain prices.

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59 thoughts on “8 Heartbreaking Cases Where Land Was Stolen From Black Americans Through Racism, Violence and Murder

  1. Jay Contreras says:

    A whole history of thieving and deception and bullying. How you got it will be how you lose it.

  2. Laura Charles says:

    Sad thing is that it's MORE stories like this that haven't even been released yet.

  3. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    Again: I'm ashamed to be white! But be assured that God will judge after all! It makes me so sad what happened in the past and what is still happening… I'm really sorry and in sorrow…

  4. Maman Jeanne says:

    Hitsch Burkhardt, there have to be more good people than bad, my late first husband and first love in every sense used to say. As an older lady of color, know that you are NOT responsible for the sins of your ancestors and other whites any more than I am for the sins of minorities, kith and kin, that do wrong. What makes us culpable is when we support, emulate and perpetuate the same misdeeds. I have dealt with bigots lifelong, of ALL races.

  5. Then these whites adamantly tells us we need to move on, do something, when we did, they killed us, burn the place down. Maybe they don't know about all this. That is not what I really need to say. I just want to say, our people, our relatives, after coming out of being held for hundreds of years, it is no way in hell a people should have gone through what is presented here, and more, and they still got their foot on our neck. Look at all the black men in prison, the police killing black men like crazy. The criminal justice system deliberately set up to incarcerate black men, Bill Clinton really double crossed black people, AFTER blacks helped to put him in office. After the crack and cocaine sentencing disparity was proven, he still sat on it. Obama finally signed off on it 2010, and he is fighting to stop thousands and thousands of black from sentence redress. It is on the internet folks, check it out read it for yourselves. Google Status on US vs Blewett, you owe it to yourselves to know how Obama is participating with the prison industrial complex to keep and put more black men in prison. We have never heard him talk about all those laws Bill Clinton were responsible for, that put more black men in prison than any other president in the history of the presidency. H could identify those laws and and make some effort to change some of them. He doesn't have to say who were responsible for them, since he is friends with the Clintons. So much going on folks, blacks being misused.

  6. No doubt researching my family's plight and so far its the same type of story, located in Money Mississippi 1900 – 1926 I wonder if a-p covered that area.

  7. Forgot about the first terrorist attack on black Wall Street.

  8. Dmax Lomax says:

    See, but that's just it. God will not help those that do not help themselves. We waiting on God, when God is waiting on us and when I say us, I mean all races of good. That is the main reason why america is so afraid of Islam and the high rate of ppl becoming Muslim. Islam teaches one to make their destiny happen and not wait on God. The Christian church wait on God practice is one of the main reason the USA is not turned inside out to this day and the ppl in power know this. Most of these mega churches are not working for God, they are working to keep the masses dormant.

  9. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    How can I ask you, please keep patient? I'm not patient at all. "Islam teaches one to make their destiny happen and not wait on God." = Definately the wrong way! No matter what you believe in and not matter the name of your God! Allah, Buddah, God, Manitou, what and who ever: We are not born to kill eachother! We are born to live together in harmony! There are no excuses for killing eachoter! NO EXCUSES!

  10. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    I don' t want this and I will help you as much as I can in the fight against racism!

  11. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    It will never be forgotten… Just can't stop the feeling that it was "Bush-Made"…;-)

  12. I have been told that the same kinds of things happened in the north too. Farmlands and beach/lake front properties were taken in states like Michigan and New York. Anyone care to add to and or verify please do.

  13. Jasper County, Mississippi.
    "From the few property records that remain, the AP was able to document that at least 204.5 of those acres were acquired by Masonite after Black owners were driven off by the KKK. At least 850,000 barrels of oil have been pumped from this property, according to state oil and gas board records and figures from the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, an industry group.

    Today, the land is owned by International Paper Corp., which acquired Masonite in 1988."

    How can something be owned, after being stolen by the racist terrorist?
    it's reflective of Columbus discovering America,
    when the indigenous peopl were physically here!
    These wrongs must be righted!
    ISIS has nothing on America's KKK Terrorist, they the Clan wrote the book on Terrorism!

  14. The first Terrorist attacks happened when we as a people, were raped from our homeland Africa in the 1600's, Yet the attacks they speak of here
    continue to evolve!
    James Baldwin stated "The Fire The Next Time"

  15. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    I agree with you and I am ver sorry! But I'like to bring "the problem" to the point: "There are no races! We are all human beings!"

  16. I count that as white supremacy because they came in 1555 on the first slave ship named "Jesus" now black folks are praising some random lover of Michelangelo that my people think is their savior and actually have been convinced to wait on this white mans return even though he's nothing but an engraved idol that's goes against Their own commandments but you can't tell a Christian that because they brush it off as confusion from satan.

  17. I'd say not "released" but discovered & researched through reading!
    Yes, truly sad!

  18. Rio NotMany Swinney
    Let’s pay homage to The schooner Clotilde (or Clotilda) was the last known U.S. Slave ship bringing captives from Africa to the United States, arriving at Mobile ,Al
    autumn 1859 with 110-160 en-slaved Africana’s
    Our people who were never “SLAVES”
    but Enslaved people!
    We must press on & share this knowledge!
    Keep On
    Keeping On!!

  19. Just more evidence that the 100+ years after slavery was over, after the Civil War, was just as bad, if not worst for blacks in America.

  20. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    Dmax Lomax That means you are awake because you are killing people? WOW! I'm deeply impressed! How poor is this attitude???

  21. Dmax Lomax says:

    Hitsch Burkhardt No it means you totally missed the point because you are sleep, smh.

  22. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    Dmax Lomax What's your real name? Rambo?

  23. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    Dmax Lomax If you think so… If it means being awake when killing people I'd rather be asleep! Just hope more people share my opionion than yours. Yours is really beside good and bad… May God bless you! End of the thread!

  24. Dmax Lomax says:

    Hitsch Burkhardt , where do you see me mentioning killing ppl. Do you have dementia? You added 1+1 and got 9. This is what i'm talking about ppl. You have misguided ppl on this planet making up things out of thin air. Please take a seat or go back to sleep.

  25. Hitsch Burkhardt says:

    Dmax Lomax My last answer to you: I didn't see you ppl. killing. And haven't got any idea of who you are. Your profile pic doesn't show me anything and I have no intension to click on it. It's not very inviting. Further more: I haven't misguided anybody. You seem to be misguided, unfortunately. If you think you're right just go your way. I will go mine anyway. And one day – after dying – we will meet in heaven and talk again about that shit that happens on earth…

  26. The first Aftican-American to settle in Jamestown had his land taken from him and his family through trickery. And what's sad is with out his help the first settlement wouldn't have been successful without him. He was a pirate not a slave.

  27. Dmax Lomax says:

    You cloud the truth so much, you can't comprehend what you read anymore, i'm guessing. For the second time, where do I mention killing in my comment that you are referring to. It is you repetitively mentioning this word, why, I can only guess. Like I said before God helps those who help themselves: Example; One needs to pass an exam to get the position that she or he wanted for some time. God is not going to just hand you that position, we have to prepare for it by studying and passing the exam. Too many ppl think that all of a sudden God is going to mysteriously grant them that position I was referring to. It does not work that way and that rant you just displayed, pretty much showed me that you did not comprehend my comment, but instead of asking me to reiterate, you started to make up your own words and accuse. That's exactly what your forefathers did to the Indians in this country as well as African Americans. You are the danger to this society with that mindset, not me.

  28. Dmax Lomax says:

    Hitsch Burkhardt I was just a little taken back that you mentioned killing as an answer to my comment and then saying it's wrong, when you are the one that mentioned it not me, lol. The mistake or wide brush ppl are painting is that Islam is doing the killing. That's a bit hypocritical if you don't look at Christians and all other religions that had radical over the top ppl that killed. The klan is one that comes to mind. They supposedly represented Christians and I don't see anyone calling Christians a religion of killers because that would be looking in the mirror to a lot who spew that nonsense.

  29. Scottie Huff says:

    My familly is dealing with something like this in Wharton Tx Oil was found on the land and my family never sold the mineral rights just leased 10 acres of the land from my understanding that's how the bastards got to take it all!

  30. Cat McEntire says:

    How dare you address this shit when years ago your people did the same thing to Native Americans? You took the spoils of land for yourselves and pushed ours onto land that was not sustainable for human life. How dare you NOT address the fact that in NY the Marshal of the Seneca Nation Cattaraugus was hauled out of his patrol car by WHITE cops and thrown in WHITE jail. Oh that's right. You are the WHITE media. Members of the same race that give 8 people and others with darker skin than mine REPARATIONS while YOUR race takes advantage of OURS and thinks nothing of it 200+ years later. Not a one of you know how to hold word to a treaty, you would rather take a long gun and keep pushing the Native American back on to land that is worth nothing and make your stupid reparations to the blacks.

  31. Cat McEntire says:

    How dare you address this shit when years ago your people did the same thing to Native Americans? You took the spoils of land for yourselves and pushed ours onto land that was not sustainable for human life. How dare you NOT address the fact that in NY the Marshal of the Seneca Nation Cattaraugus was hauled out of his patrol car by WHITE cops and thrown in WHITE jail. Oh that's right. You are the WHITE media. Members of the same race that give 8 people and others with darker skin than mine REPARATIONS while YOUR race takes advantage of OURS and thinks nothing of it 200+ years later. Not a one of you know how to hold word to a treaty, you would rather take a long gun and keep pushing the Native American back on to land that is worth nothing and make your stupid reparations to the blacks.

  32. Cat McEntire says:

    go on to the reservations you bet there are a lot more stories. Nobody ever gives US reparations. We are just pushed further into oppression while whitey gives our land to you. You don't hear us bitch because white media wont allow it. They come and shut the Indians up on reservations. It was our land first.

  33. Cat McEntire says:

    go on to the reservations you bet there are a lot more stories. Nobody ever gives US reparations. We are just pushed further into oppression while whitey gives our land to you. You don't hear us bitch because white media wont allow it. They come and shut the Indians up on reservations. It was our land first.

  34. Cat McEntire says:

    white people took from indigenous people on this land long before they took from yours. Your ancestral tribal chiefs sold your kin out to sometimes other blacks. You have a lot of nerve asking for reparations from people that have no right to the land themselves if you want to know the truth. You need to shut the hell up about the criminal justice system setting black men and women. You need to look a bit further than your own 4 walls and the color of your skin. You have your own colleges, a free pass to education that few of you use, your roads named after your heroes. STILL what do Native Americans have. NOTHING. Hell you are taught that Native Americans or INDIANS are savages. Well, maybe we are. You are handed shit on a plate while ours have to scrap for what we get. And we are the savages. We are not the takers of land and if there is a land give away it should be the red skins first.

  35. Cat McEntire says:

    Derrick A. Capers no the first terrorist attacks were when white people rousted indigenous people from the New World. Truth is none of you but the ones with red skin belong on this land. You all are invaders and terrorists.

  36. Cat McEntire says:

    the first white foot in the New World perpetuated the taking of land from many Indians long before that.

  37. Cat McEntire says:

    Ask the Iroquois

  38. Cat McEntire says:

    then be in sorrow and ashamed for your people did to mine worse than that, and you still keep violating treaties and murdering Native Americans.

  39. Cat McEntire says:

    then be in sorrow and ashamed for your people did to mine worse than that, and you still keep violating treaties and murdering Native Americans.

  40. Cat you sound ignorant how can people brought by force be terrorist I see if you were talking about the Europeans but saying the endalved are intruders is a bit contradicting not to mention the there were native tribes that were not only red but black as well on which other tribes acknowledged but it was the European that changed the nationality of the natives of this land because of the fact that they did not want the face of a black man as being the founder of civilization and migration. If you do your research there plenty of black tribes that were considered "black Indian" like dineh or Pima but all you have to do is research black native Americans and you will
    See the truth for what it is and the reason why so many modern day native Americans are so light is because what was left of the population either secluded itself from the world on intermarried with Europeans. So we aren't terrorist we actually have distant relatives to all the lands of the world before any white person claimed to "discover" them from Asia to America.

  41. Cat McEntire says:

    Rio NotMany Swinney I am so angry right this moment about this stuff and then some other things. I cannot think straight at the moment. I will address you in the next couple days when I am in a better mood. I would like to talk to you more. Could you inbox me on Facebook? I am a student, not a scholar.

  42. Ray Henderson says:

    the antics of white caps remind me of those of the Pony Club in Carroll County, Ga. in 1826-34. They stole everything the indians had using fi fas and trumped up debt documents. They ruled two ga. counties and had an in to the governor's office. there is a book on amazon about the history of the pony club.

  43. Tye NeeSah says:

    This happened to my family. My paternal grandparents. There was an article about it too. SMH sad

  44. There has got to be something legally that can be done in some of these cases as far as settlements to the surviving immediate family members.

  45. There has got to be something legally that can be done in some of these cases as far as settlements to the surviving immediate family members.

  46. White people Crazy and Stupid.

  47. This stuff is still going on today.

  48. There are countless numbers of such stories including those of my greaat grandfather Tom Bailey. He purchased 240 acres in 1905 in Marshall County, Ms. In each census, he indicates he could read and write. However, each document of his purchase and reported sale of his land is signed with an "X". His wife maintained he was drug from the home one night and never seen again after being forced to sign over his land. Another farmer named Frazier was killed the same way. Another black family named Isom were run off their land at gunpoint.

  49. Why these constant attempts at 'sympathy'?
    Because some folks are NOT fully behind repatriations yet?

  50. It has never stopped imminent domain the city takes your property to give to a land developer, or they run a freeway thru it. Or they make it too costly to rebuild after natural disasters like Katrina in New Orleans or after the Quake in downtown Oakland CA. It's systemic.

  51. Indeed. Happened to our family here in Florida 1911. County judge and the sheriff teamed up.

  52. Floyd Guidry says:

    Dmax Lomax Very well stated Dmax Lomax. Christianity has caused many mental problems with out society that inhibits our thought processes for the better good of mankind. Its time for AM to wake up and realized that God will not come to our rescue until we make a move to be rescued. And definitely not the white God. My God is Black.
    I own a business and I pray to God often to send me more business, however I work 7 days per week at least 10 hours each day. There are so much to do and prepare before God works his magic, so it appears to be. I give him credit for and I give myself credit for the accomplishments. But it always start with the person efforts before God makes a move. God in my vision is that 4th or 5th dimension that man has to communicate with when he has exhausted all of his efforts to accomplish a task.

  53. Rickey Hines says:

    Take the matter to court. It is documented right take it to court even if we only win one case it sets a precedent that can be used to reverse what has happened. After all is not this a country of laws?

  54. Floyd Christianity did not cause these problems man and ignorance has. They took a Beautiful Truth and used it for evil. The Word of God says that God Is Love blame man not God for this mess.

  55. Bad thing about it is that black folk don't even know it was the Zionist self proclaiming jews of today who run our government, banks and media.

    Europeans had a faith in Christ the Zionist jew doesn't.

    90-95% of slave owners were these so-called Zionist jews of today.

  56. You dont really expect the children of satan: to act any better This is how we know who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God's child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister!

  57. Dmax Lomax I get what you said, he had me for a moment, thinkg he was one of t good ones and t happens frequently!

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