Make It Right: In Depth

40 Acres and a Mule Would Be at Least $6.4 Trillion Today—What the U.S. Really Owes Black America

Slavery made America wealthy, and racist policies since have blocked African American wealth-building. Can we calculate the economic damage?
< 1 MIN READ
May 14, 2015

Download a PDF of this infographic:

11×17 poster format , 8.5×11 vertical format

Sources:

Introduction: http://theconversation.com/slavery-in-america-back-in-the-headlines-33004 http://www.civil-war.net/census.asp?census=Total 1. 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) http://mshistorynow.mdah.state.ms.us/articles/161/cotton-in-a-global-economy-mississippi-1800-1860 Joshua Rothman, email correspondence, 2015 http://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-economics-of-the-civil-war/ http://abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/abraham-lincoln-in-depth/abraham-lincoln-and-civil-war-finance 48.3% in 1860 according to Gavin Wright, Slavery and American Economic Development (LSU Press, 2006, paperback 2013) [personal communication] 2. http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1073&context=jlasc http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/dc_emancipation_act/ http://philosophy.fullerton.edu/people/2007%20-%20Heiner%20-%20Abolition%20Democracy%20-%20Rad%20Phil%20Today%205.pdf http://www.cjcj.org/uploads/cjcj/documents/slavery_in.PDF http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21583992-fifty-years-after-martin-luther-kings-speech-fixing-americas-racial-ills-requires-new/comments?page=8 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. 3. http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v70n4/v70n4p49.html 70-80%, according to: http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/05/the-case-for-reparations/361631/#ii-a-difference-of-kind-not-degree http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2010-08-05/html/CREC-2010-08-05-pt1-PgS6836.htm http://www.farmaid.org/atf/cf/%7B6ef41923-f003-4e0f-a4a6-ae0031db12fb%7D/FARM_AID_2014_ISSUE_BRIEF-BLACK_FARMING_AND_LAND_LOSS.PDF http://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/lui.pdf http://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1073&context=jlasc 4. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/demo/p60-249.pdf Dime based on: http://www.insightcced.org/uploads/CRWG/LayingTheFoundationForNationalProsperity-MeizhuLui0309.pdf http://newsreel.org/guides/race/whiteadv.htm $59 trillion: http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/2013/01/calculated-minimum-reparation-due-to.html $15 trillion: National Legal and Policy Center: http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-reparations-black-farmers/2010/02/21/id/350458/ $25 trillion:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPcap/1999-11/23/047r-112399-idx.html Martin Luther King: http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2014/07/mlk_s_case_for_reparations_included_disadvantaged_whites.html


Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz
Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz is the creative director at YES!, where she directs artistic and visual components of YES! Magazine, and drives branding across the organization. She specializes in infographic research and design, and currently works with The Nation, in addition to YES! She has previously worked at The Seattle Times, The Virginian-Pilot, Scripps Howard Newspapers, Rocky Mountain News, The Denver Post, The Connecticut Post, The San Diego Tribune, The Honolulu Advertiser. She lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington, and currently serves on the board of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association. Tracy speaks English.
Jeff Neumann