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Guns are flying off the shelves. And some businesses in downtown Washington D.C. and other cities have boarded their windows ahead of election day, anticipating one thing: Violence.

"This is their final stand," said a 35-year-old Black woman from South Carolina in an October focus group. "I don't think we should expect them to just pack up and head home if he loses. He wants them to go crazy, and they will gladly do it."

Such comments underscore a highly prevalent sentiment in Black America: the expectation of post-election violence. Though Trump has warned suburban families that a Joe Biden's presidency would pave the way for the invasion of liberal mobs, Black Americans fear violence from those same suburbanites listening to Trump's message.

Polls indicate that many Americans have expressed concerns about post-election violence. Our BlackTrack survey illustrates this sentiment is highest among Black voters. Nearly half of Black voters anticipate violence regardless of whether Donald Trump (49%) or Joe Biden (41%) win the election. Black voters know this will affect them — almost half of Black voters (40%) believe they will likely become the target of that violence.

But what's behind this fear? And what insights can data and history offer to our understanding of this phenomenon?