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A couple believed to be Will and Barbara Broadies on the Gilmer land.

A couple believed to be Will and Barbara Broadies on the Gilmer land.

Source: Noel Miller Jr.

My Family’s Long-Gone Texas Land Shows How Black Wealth Is Won and Lost

When I searched my ancestral history, I found clues to a legacy of land redistribution.

For anyone who ever wondered how — and why — America ended up with the racial wealth gap it has, or what it takes to close it, consider a little town in East Texas.

That's where I searched in an effort to unpack the wealth divide. The story stretches back to the late 1800s, involves a plot of land, abandoned children, and taxes. Lots and lots of taxes. It’s my family’s story. Gilmer, Texas is the scene of an inheritance gone awry, and a portrait of how Black wealth is won, and lost.