A future for African Descendant Americans, can only be insured if we gain full control of the “means to production”. And what is the means to production? Consider the following:
- I Am the Basis of All Wealth, the heritage of the wise, the thrifty and prudent.
- I am the poor person’s joy and comfort, the rich person’s prize, the right hand of capital, the silent partner of thousands of successful people.
- I am the solace of the widow, the comfort of old age, the cornerstone of security against misfortune and want.
- I am handed down through generations, as a possession of great value.
- I am the choicest fruit of labor, the safest collateral and yet I am humble. I stand before every person bidding them to know me for what I am and asking them to possess me.
- I am quietly growing in value through countless days. Though, I might seem dormant, my worth increases, never failing, never ceasing. Time is my aid and the ever increasing population adds to my gain. I defy fire and the elements, for they cannot destroy me. My possessors learn to believe in me and invariable they become envied by those that have passed me by. While all other things wither and decay, I alone survive. The centuries find me younger, always increasing in strength. All oil and minerals come from me.
- I am the producer of food, building materials and the home to every living thing. I serve as the foundation for homes, factories, banks and stores. I have not been produced for millions of years, yet,
- I am so common that thousands, unthinking and unknowingly, pass me by.
Who am I? “I AM LAND.”
Land is the foundation of self sufficiency and the basis of self determination. No man and no people can be truly free, standing on another man’s land.
A future standing on our own, Is a future where we stand on our own land.
Land can be acquired, but there is an ongoing cost to keep it,
A recent study estimated that in the early 20th century, rural landownership among African-American farmers and non-farmers was between 16 and 19 million acres (Gilbert, J., 2002).
The 1999 Agricultural Economics and Land Ownership Survey (AELOS), which assessed private rural landownership across race and use (i.e. farming, forestry, etc.), found that there are currently 68,000 African-American rural landowners and they own a total of approximately 7.7 million acres of land, less than 1% of all privately owned rural land in the United States.
With rural landownership clearly being a significant economic resource base in the African-American community’s control, why do African-Americans continue to lose their land?
Read the report “ What Is African American Land Ownership?”
In addition to the listed reasons for ADA’s land loss, there is the legal axiom of “The Power To Tax, Is The Power To Destroy”.
If “ownership” of land is acquired, especially in large quantities, for the purpose of future use, whether it is for agriculture, manufacturing, commercial or residential use, how do you protect the ownership of that land considering, there will be a period of time when that land is non-producing.
If lands are acquired for a number of purposes; and under the present system, that means under this “Capitalistic System”, there will then be a long period of time, when the land is “non revenue generating”. However, under the present governmental system, “taxation” continues; And taxes will continue to mount, on this un-used land until the taxes owed, could dwarf the market value of the land. When that happens; the normal incentive, to hold on to the land diminishes and if the taxes are not paid, then the land goes into the inventory of the taxing authority.
To protect against the above scenario, we could/should develop a “plan” to shield newly acquired lands and at the same time protect and hold onto, presently owned lands. By developing a formula where-by both of the land situations could be put (1) into a “Land Bank” or (2) made a bequest to ‘The State”.
The Land Bank: (and what is a Land Bank?)
Land banks are public or community-owned entities, created for a single purpose: to acquire, manage, maintain, and re-purpose vacant, abandoned, and foreclosed properties– the worst abandoned houses, forgotten buildings, and empty lots.
There are over a hundred and fifty Land Banks, operating through-out the U.S. and are operating under a series of diverse rules. How ever generally the authority granted to Land Banks include the following:
- Obtain property at low or no cost through the tax foreclosure process
- Hold land tax-free
- Clear title and/or extinguish back taxes
- Lease properties for temporary uses
- Negotiate sales based not only on the highest bid but also on the outcome that most closely aligns with community needs, such as workforce housing, a grocery store, or expanded recreational space
- Land banks can acquire Real Estate Owned (REO) properties and receive private donations and public land transfers.
While the first thru the fourth items, appear to be most applicable to what would be our plan, our legal and economic scholars would look at all of the possibilities.
There is presently no “State” to which property can be bequeathed, because there is no “Nation” to operate a “State”. However a well structured Community Corporation, can through State and Federal negotiations, establish and administer a “Land Bank” with the expectation of Nationhood and Reparations.
Note: Unlike the Native American situation, Our lands will for the most part, would have been purchased, and belong to us in perpetuity; and not lands held in trust, like reservations.
Having No State: leaves us with “Banking Land”
The biggest argument that white America has vis a vis, ADA’s dependency on White America, is what they perceive as “welfare, giveaways and Grants, to a people who have the capacity and the where-with-all, to the point where, they should be standing on their own two feet.; And there is “some validity” to their argument.
We can start to diminish that validity in the eyes of “White America” and the world, by at least showing a serious effort, to move in the direction of “self-Determination” and it must start with acquiring our own land.
How would Land Banking Work?
Contiguous America, accounts for 1.89 billion acres of land; And In 2009, a government economist put the value of all the land, at $22.98 trillion. Now this bit of data is not important to the following example, but it does put in perspective, the impact a people with a 1+ trillion dollar spending capacity could have.
But for our example, of a perspective “Land banking Scheme”, we will choose only the State of Mississippi; which is one of the Southern States, of Average size, with an opening to the Gulf and a considerable ADA population already in place. Mississippi has 30,000,000 (30 million acres)
African Descendant population stands at 42+ million people in the 50 U.S. States, including the District of Columbia.
For our example, we will suggest a participation rate of 1 in 10 ADAs, or 4.2 million people
According to “Mississippi Agricultural Land Values and Cash Rents Report: 2017”
The projected conclusion that is available for the value of Timber and Pasture land in Mississippi; is that the value is expected to hover around $2000.00 per acre in 2018.
According to a number of different models it is estimated, that a family of 4, who eats, meat, eggs, vegetables and dairy products would need from 2- 3.9 acres of land, to sustain the family for the year. Less than 1 acre per person.
In order to account for roads, schools, factories, hospitals commercial and other infrastructure, we will liberally set the needed land at 7 acres per person.
State Size in acres Cost of all land Projected ADA Pop. Food/ dev. acres Cost per/ person Proj. time Yr.ly pmts
Mississippi 30 mil. $60 bill. 4.2 mil. 29.4 mil (a) $14,286.00 20yr $714.00
Those who could pay the full amount as immediate share owners would do so, others would borrow from investment contribution by money-ed, ADAs. At on average $60 per month, but would also be immediate share owners.
You can see this same proposition on the adjacent page “A different view”.
This is just an example, of how our situation can be remedied, from the perspective of “Land Banking”.
In addition, land that is currently owned by ADAs and teeters on the brink of loss, can be transferred to the land bank, either to be held, re-purposed or managed.