Atlanta Journal-Constitution deletes offensive "40 acres and a mule" tweet

The phrase is a reference to a Civil War-era policy that redistributed land to freed slaves

By Prachi Gupta

Published October 23, 2013 7:45PM (EDT)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution will have to answer some uncomfortable questions for an offensive tweet that it posted and then promptly deleted this morning. Caught by Poynter and Romenesko, the tweet announcing that Powder Springs, Ga., resident Willie Lynch won $1 million in the lottery winnings said that Lynch can now “get 40 acres and a whole lotta mules":

As Poynter explains, the phrase is a reference to Gen. William Sherman's post-Civil War rule that redistributed farmland and mules to freed slaves in Georgia.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has since apologized for the tweet and is "working to address this situation internally."

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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40 Acres And A Mule Civil War Gaffes Georgia Slavery Twitter