One Family’s Land of Opportunity
Play • 52 min

A family’s legend about "40 acres and a mule” takes host Kai Wright on a fact checking mission to the Mississippi Delta. He finds an unexpected solution to wealth inequality in the U.S.

We first told the Lester family’s story in February, when we began exploring the unfinished business of Reconstruction. Now, as the country transitions out of the chaos of the Trump administration, we revisit the story and reflect on the effort to bring about economic justice in the Biden era. 

Elbert Lester has lived his full 94 years in Quitman County, Mississippi, on land he and his family own. That’s exceptional for Black people in this area today, but at one time, Black farmers owned the majority of this land. What happened to change that? Kai’s reporting leads him to a question still at the core of our national political debate: Who are the rightful owners of this country’s staggering wealth? 

Companion listening from our archives: 

Who Owns the Deed to the American DreamA Secret Meeting in South Bend

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In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
Lemonada Media
Andy Goes to Washington
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