Land Loss, Wealth, and Reparations


Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Austin Hall, North Harvard Law School 1585 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138
Black farmers owned over 16 million acres of land in 1910, a time when black families owned “the largest amount of property they would ever own in the United States,” according to one scholar. These farmers were often respected in their communities, held civic leadership positions, and many were civil rights activists. Yet by the end of the 20th century, almost all black owned farmland—and the way of life—was gone. Black farmers faced widespread discrimination and violent reprisal from local white residents, as well as federal policy designed to drive them out of business.
The panelists will discuss their research estimating that black farmers have lost hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of land and income as a result of discrimination, the impact this loss has had on racial wealth inequality, and efforts to address these disparities through legal reform, policy initiatives, and reparations.
Panelists include:
  • Dania Francis, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
  • Darrick Hamilton, Executive Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University.
  • Thomas Mitchell, Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Program in Real Estate and Community Development Law, Texas A&M University School of Law.
  • Bryce Wilson Stucki, independent researcher and journalist
Presented by the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic.
Cosponsors: Black Law Students Association; Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice; Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History; Food, Water, & Agriculture Club at Harvard Business School; Harvard Center for Population and Demographic Studies; Harvard Food Law Lab; Harvard Food Law Society; HLS Labor & Worklife Program; Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy; Mississippi Delta Project; The Systemic Justice Project; Fresh Food Generation; and the Island Foundation.