Forty Acres and a Mule Would Be at Least $6.4 Trillion Today: What the US Really Owes Black America

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Slavery made the US wealthy, and racist policies since have blocked African American wealth-building. Can we calculate the economic damage?

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1.5 million pounds in 1790 and 2.25 billion pounds in 1859, based on Empire of Cotton, by Sven Beckert (2014) pgs. 104, 106

77% based on: Cotton and Race in the Making of America: The Human Costs of Economic Power, by Gene Dattel (2009)

Joshua Rothman, email correspondence, 2015

48.3% in 1860 according to Gavin Wright, Slavery and American Economic Development (LSU Press, 2006, paperback 2013) [personal communication]


The Politics of Despair: Power and Resistance in the Tobacco Wars. Tracy Campbell, 2015

7% based on: Documents of the Assembly of the State of New York, Vol. 4. 1979.


70-80%, according to:


Dime based on:

$59 trillion:

$15 trillion: National Legal and Policy Center,

$25 trillion:

Martin Luther King: