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


ococee massacre

Ocoee, Florida

A total of 330 acres plus 48 city lots owned by 18 Black families living in Ocoee, Florida, were lost after a violent Election Day attack on the Black community in 1920, known as the Ocoee Massacre. Some were able to sell their land at a fair price, but most were not. In 2001, the land lost by the 18 Ocoee families, not including buildings now on it, is assessed by tax officials at more than $4.2 million, according to the AP report. The true market value is probably a lot more.



stealing land from blacks

Hickman, Kentucky

After midnight on Oct. 4, 1908, 50 hooded white men surrounded the home of a Black farmer in Hickman, Kentucky, named David Walker. The mob burned his house down after Walker shot at them and refused their orders to come out, according to contemporary newspaper accounts.

Walker ran out of the burning house with four young children and his wife, who was carrying a baby in her arms. The mob shot them all, wounding three children and killing the others. Walker’s oldest son died in the flames. No one was ever charged with the killings, and the surviving children were denied access to the land their father died defending.

Land records show that Walker’s 2 1/2-acre farm was added to the property of their white neighbor. The neighbor soon sold it to another man, whose daughter owns the undeveloped land today.

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