Wealth Matters Case Study

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Wealth Matters: Loss of Black Land Ownership
"Finders Keepers, Loser 's Weepers." --Unknown

Introduction Finders keepers, losers weepers is a childhood adage that means whatever a person finds can be kept and whatever a person loses cannot be reclaimed. There is no principle of law that supports an individual is entitled to keep whatever is found while the original owner bears the loss. Principles related to personal and real property lost by one individual and found by another have been expressed in various ways over the centuries. The law of lost and found is rooted in ancient Roman laws and the concept of finders keepers derived from the work of the second century jurist Gaius, who suggested that unowned property (res nullius) became
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Poor White landowners were also unfairly mistreated by railroad, lumber and mining companies that forced them to sell their properties below fair market value. Sadly, by 1910, Blacks had acquired fifteen million acres of land, but a century later, own less than seven million acres and less than one percent is farmland. The decline in Black land ownership includes issues related to complex property ownership, inaccessibility to legal counsel, and unjust, violent, and legally exploitive techniques. Whether it is an acre, parcel or city block, land ownership is of vital importance because the United States is a capitalistic society. Land ownership is used to create income, develop communities, start businesses, build schools, provide social and civic organizations and most importantly, increase political power. The generational wealth of a child is closely related to that of his parents and the current economic opportunity across racial lines remains unequal. The loss of Black land ownership has had a negative effect on economic opportunities within the Black community. If the rate of Black land ownership continues to decline, there will continue to be an inability for grandparents and parents to leave an inheritance to their

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