Systematic Land Theft
In Systematic Land Theft, each chapter captures how land has been lost in Black and Indigenous communities. Hishaw, uses her family's experience of land loss as a case study, throughout the book to affirm how bias policies dispossess Blacks and Tribal groups of their land. The reality is Whites presently own over 95% of the farmland in the United States, due to the misappropriation of tribal lands and the exploitation of enslaved African labor. As Europeans strategically immigrated and implemented English common law into U.S. governance, property ownership was created. The physical division of tribal land resulted in statehood, thus replacing indigenous beliefs of communal living. Adopting European religious beliefs and customs in the U.S., influenced the Five Civilized Tribes' ownership of enslaved Africans. U.S. property laws were implemented to equip settlers with tribal land and afford Europeans' protection, while disenfranchising non-Whites.
Systematic Land Theft explores the history of European settlements in the Plains States as a replica for other U.S. regions and the present-day land loss of both Black and Tribal communities. Hishaw provides insight regarding ethnic identification, land valuation, legislation, and compensation for land loss. The book is a detailed synopsis of how stolen tribal land was used by White settlers and the federal government, to leverage land as collateral to become economically superior over all demographic groups. Ways land wealth has been distributed as it relates to the legal process and tax credits are discussed. Systematic Land Theft is a well-researched, thought-provoking book that makes the reader think about the history of land tenure in the U.S., while utilizing case studies, interviews with farmers, legal, and economic analyses as proof. Due to this history of land theft, the Black community loses 30,000 acres of ownership per year.